WIDOW'S WALK M. 38 to 40 in. D. 6 in.                                                               
20 plus buds, 4 branches plus terminal
 SDLG. S053-97: (Old King Cole X Imperial Wizard)

This exquisite, almost mysterious new variety has always reminded me of the old Victorian Era because of its coloration and style.  Over two centuries ago during the days of large sailing vessles and whaling ships, many homes built along the east coast of this country had special porches installed on the roof tops so that seaman's wives could watch the horizon for ships returning from the sea.  When the ships were late the wives could be seen on these porches looking for their return, thus the name widow's walk was given to these porches perched on top of homes designed in  Victorian architecture.  Our name of Widow's Walk fits this variety perfectly, we think.  Nearly fifteen years ago our variety Mephistopheles would often change its color from purple to an unusual frosty gray-mauve one.  Now three generations later that same frosted gray-mauve shade is found as an undertone to the official Dahlia Purple (931/3) color of Widow's Walk.  A large and unique watermark/eyezone appears to be applied by a brushstroke around the edge of a light yellow to olive throat centering this blossom.  Found at the outer edge of this watermark pattern is a blended, painted on and scalloped darker purple border.  Below this darker layer of color is a brushed on gray purple striated cream-lavender almost smokey watermark.  A lighter colored midrib bisects the watermark and becomes part of the pattern three quarters of the way out onto the petals.  Further enhancements are found in the dual creamy white picotee and dark purple border edging the flared petals and recurved sepals.  The general look of Widow's Walk  is quite reminiscent of those found in “smokey” gladiolus.  The color and substance of these beguiling blossoms holds beautifully in heat and sun opening well after a cold, below sixty degree night temperature.  Widow's Walk is fertile either way and it is proving to be a very important parent giving exciting patterned offspring.  It develops healthy, dark green foliage and is a dependable, easy growing dormant variety.  Based on pedigree it should do well in the south as well but the farthest south we have tested it is Dayton, Ohio.           $150.00