I'm fascinated by how plants change through time in the hands of human breeders and gardeners. So I decided to make a little video to better visualize it. I went through the American Iris Society Wiki (http://wiki.irises.org/) and grabbed images of 189 varieties introduced in the last century, more or less distributed evenly across the decades. String them together in a video, and you can watch how breeders have modified bearded irises over the last 100 years. Most dramatically, the falls get shorter and rounder, and the petal edges get ever increasingly frilled and ruffled.
It is pretty cool, if you are a breeding nerd like me. I'm sure the flowers are getting bigger as well, though you can't see it in this video, since the flowers are not to scale. I'm also realizing that I think I like the mid-century varieties better than the super frilly modern ones. Which did you like best?