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R550000 wins right to name blue iris

After a decade of going unnoticed, a delicate blue iris flowering along the Saldanha coast will finally be named.

This comes after a four-month long online auction which saw the highest bidder earn the naming rights.

Since December, the Table Mountain Fund and Strauss & Co have been managing the auction, which received international attention. Some UK media even recommended naming the iris after Kate Middleton and an “ideal gift” from her fiancée, Prince William.

In the end, Mike and Rose Hainebach of Cape Town earned the honour of naming the flower that only blooms in August.

Their R550000 bid clinched them the naming rights. They have not yet made public their decision on what the iris will be called.

All funding raised via the online auction will go to the WWF (SA) Fynbos campaign aimed at connecting and expanding the remaining pristine areas of the Cape floral kingdom to create a network of natural corridors, reclaiming the Cape’s scenic beauty and providing space for people, ecosystems and wildlife.

“Funds raised by the auction will be used by the Table Mountain Fund to buy land and secure land to ensure the biodiversity is protected,” said fund manager Onno Huyser, adding the auction was “a particularly innovative way” of raising money for conservation.