Trail Of Tears Iris

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Does anybody by chance happen to have a pic of the Iris that is called the Trail of Tears. The one that goes along with this story?

"A young Cherokee Indian couple, the Hillhouse
family, left Georgia on their journey to the designated
Indian Territory with a bag of money from the US
government purchase of their land, a rifle, a blanket
in which to wrap their possessions, two babes in
arms, and a toddler at hand. One of the
possessions carried was a start of a white iris.
Along the way, the money was viewed as a burden to
carry, so was buried. In north Arkansas, seeking
food, a bear was shot and wounded. The wounded
bear made its way to a cavern where Mr. Hillhouse
finished it off. Mr. Hillhouse decided the cavern
would provide shelter for winter so the young couple
and their young family did not continue their journey
to the Indian Territory.

This story was passed down to family decendents by
the family member who was the toddler at hand.

I would love to see it if somebody has a pic to share.

Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)

I enjoy hearing stories which brings two "subjects" together (in this case the iris and a young family). It makes EACH more meaningful, more real, more sentimental.

I haven't a photo, but here is the description according to the AIS Iris checklist. It looks to be a Louisiana iris, that only reaches 12" high. Sounds quite pretty!!


(F. Chowning, R. 1973). Sdlg. 1949-L. LA, 12" (30 cm), M.
White self; large orange signal. Unnamed foliosa sdlg. X unnamed foliosa sdlg.

Au Gres, MI(Zone 5a)

starlight1153 and both had my curiosity and with that, along with that wonderful story, I had to see what the Trail of Tears Iris looked like......

Check out this website....

Thumbnail by deann
Deer River, MN(Zone 3b)

As far as I know, that story first appeared on the Tinker's Garden website at the following URL:

If you read the link, you will see that the iris referred to in that story is not a registered cultivar. It is a historic white bearded iris that the family refers to as the "Trail of Tears Iris".

It's a wonderful story.


Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Yep, it's an awesome story and as I love my Historics this one has lots of meaning for me.

Well, I was hoping someone would have had a pic of it, since their so manyIris fans here, but I guess I gonna have to wait til it blooms. It's just that it's so oooooooo long til spring and I going crazy with curiosity.

Watching this baby grow is worse than putting a quarter in the bubble gum machine and wondring if your gonna be able to get your hand under the door fast enough to catch it before it hits the ground.

What's that song..... Anticipation.... Lolol..

I appreciate the link to the pics!! :) It will be interesting to see if it matches up to the link when it blooms.


Deer River, MN(Zone 3b)

It won't match the pics of the registered cultivar 'Trail of Tears' which is a Louisiana (beardless) iris, *not* a bearded iris like the one in the story. Also, the LA iris was registered in 1973 - quite a long time after the Cherokee story. ;-)


Oro Valley, AZ(Zone 9a)


Thanks for tracking down the link to the picture of the Louisiana iris "Trail of Tears". It does look like the short LA it is suppose to be. Pretty too. Reading up on some of the history written in ballads is such a sad story.

Ella, why does it have so much meaning for you? Anything that you may want to share?


Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Oh Goody goody! Louise who had a division of it, from Judy Ann, has posted a pic of it up. It's gorgeous!!!! If ya wanna see it's on the link up above Laurie posted.

Margie, maybe it just cuz I old, not sure, but I love the Historics. Whether it be Iris or Daylies or any other plant. The Historics while they may not be as fancy or as colorful as some opf today's cultivars they have a simplcitity and a beauty of their own.

I especially love those Historics that have a story behind them. I know I just one person, but I love trying to preserve what has gone past and may never come again if someone doesn't save a bit of it for future generations.

I also live not to far from a ceremonial ground and go there every year for the festives and the friendship. When I lived in Ohio I also lived in a town where part of the town had been built over cerimonal and burial grounds. A lot of strange things went on in that town, shoot strange things went on in our houses too. At first I thought I was going crazy til I found out the History.

That and I have several close friends who are Native American and I just plain love seeing and saving any piece of history I can.

If somebody wouldn't have presevered The Trail Of Tears or a few other cultivars I have that are historics I wouldn't gonna be having somethign beautiful in my yard to look at and I will also take a piece of it and the history behind it to share with the kids at school.

Maybe some of it too is when things sometime go wrong in life, I can look out and reflect on what our ancesters had to go through in the past and how hard life really was and it reminds me to thank my blessings for what I have and not to complain.

Thomasville, GA(Zone 8a)

Does any one have a division that they would share, or tell me where I can purchase one. My great granfather was on the trail of tears. Later my grandmother was born in Oklahoma and she married a white man, my grandfather and they had my mother. They were married 70 years and died at the age of 97 and 98. My mother died last year at the age of 92.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Kami... I'll add your name to my list for when there is enough for division. Can only do so much every so often, so just go down the listI have.

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

Please add me too for whenever you can divide again? Thanks!

Owasso, OK(Zone 6b)

Please add me also. Being part of the Creek tribe, I am very interested. Name of my town means "end of the trail"

Gainesville, TX

Oh, yes, ME TOO! in Thackerville, OKlahoma

Gainesville, TX

The picture featured on tinker's garden forum, the picture does not belong to me Thank you, Louise for the photo, Cedarthorne Gardens.

This message was edited May 2, 2010 11:24 AM

This message was edited May 5, 2010 4:35 PM

Thumbnail by sharondippity
Cut Bank, MT(Zone 3a)

I look at this Iris often and think of what they went through then. Can't wait for my piece of it. Thank you so much for putting su on the list.

Thomasville, GA(Zone 8a)

Ella, thank you and I understand about the iris. Whenever will be fine. Let me know what I can exchange. Elaine

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