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■ (SPEC) Iris bismarckiana Damm. & Spreng.

1890, E. Dammann & C. Sprenger

Iris bismarckiana E. Dammann & C. Sprenger (E. Dammann and Carl Sprenger, 1890, N. Palestine); Section Oncocyclus , Height 12" (30 cm); Color Class-W5D; Flowers (10-12 cm) in diameter; Standards white veined blue with purple dots, base yellow; Falls creamy yellowish ground covered with black purple spots; beard dark purple triangular signal velvet-black; Style pale yellow dotted deep purple; Wien. Gartenz. 352. fig. 72. 1890, illustrated.

See below:
bismarckiana - Alcain.jpgbismarckiana - Dathe.jpgBismarckiana Bot Mag 7986.jpgIris-bismarckianaClay.jpgIris-bismarckianaJoseff.jpgIris bismarckiana vertical.jpgP10313-1412043.jpgP10313-1418452.jpg


Sprenger in Wien. Gartenz. 352. fig. 72. 1890, illustrated.
Revue horticole, serié 4, vol. 74: (1902)
Sapir, Y., A. Shmida, and H. P. Comes. 2001. Iris bismarckiana in Israel and Jordan - new findings and taxonomic remarks. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 49:229-235
Wright gave the following article Curtis's Botanical Magazine, table 7986, November 1st, 1904; "The Oncocyclus section of Iris, which is characterized by the outer perianth-segments being diffusely hairy on the claw and lower part of the blade, contains the most conspicuous species of the genus. On this account many, which have been brought into cultivation, have had specific names given to them on very slight differential characters. The most widely cultivated species of this section, as well as the largest-flowered one of the genus, is I. susiana, Linn. B.M.,t. 91, while closely allied is I. gatesii, Foster (t. 7967), which differs from the present plant in the absence of a distinct blotch or "signal" on the outer perianth-segments. I. sari, var. lurida, Boiss. (t. 6960) is a dwarf plant with smaller flowers than I. bismarkiana, and has the anther-cells adnate to the filament, instead of being inserted in a small pit on the back of the anther near its base. I. lortetii Barbey (t. 7251) much resembles this species, but it has short, truncate, dentate style-arms.

_I. bismarckiana_ was introduced from Lebanon in 1888 by Messrs. Dammann & Co., of Naples, but, like most species of the section Oncocyclus from Palestine, is somewhat difficult to cultivate. The plant here figured was purchased from Mr. Georg Egger of Jaffa, and flowered in the Alpine House at Kew in May, 1904.

Descr.-A perennial herb about eighteen inches high. Rhizome short. Leaves ensiform, glaucous, the largest nine inches long and one inch wide. Scape one-flowered; spathes lanceolate, green, three inches long. Perianth-segments: outer broadly ovate, acute, two inches and a half long, nearly two inches wide, yellowish, densely spotted with purple-brown and marked in the center with a similarly colored spot (signal) seven lines in diameter; inner orbicular, clawed, two inches and a half in diameter; pale blue, with numerous lilac veins which bear spots towards the margin of the blade. Stigmas oblong; crests triangular, eight lines long, similar in color to the outer perianth segments."

*Distribution*: Israel - lower and upper Galilee, North-Western Jordan (Wadi Rajib, near Adjloon). Current distribution in Lebanon un-known, extinct or miss-identified as Iris westii.
Krel. 1892. 1913; Barr 1808; Van T. 1900; A.M., R.H.S. 1893, shown by Ware as Iris sari nazarensis; F.C.C., Amsterdam 1893;
Dykes in The Genus Iris, 1913: Descnption.
Rootstock , stout, of the usual Oncocyclus character and often sending out stolon-like growths.
Leaves , as in I. susiana.
Stem , stout, 1 2 or more inches high, sheathed in reduced leaves.
Spathes , 3½-4 in. long, not scarious, quite green or slightly flushed with purple.
Pedicel , very short.
Ovary , oblong, rounded trigonal with a groove on either face.
Tube , equal in length to the ovary, rather more than I in. long, green with dotted dull red-purple stripes.
Falls . The broad ovate blade is not separated by any constriction from the broad wedge-shaped haft, which bears a diffuse beard of black-purple hairs on a pale yellowish ground. Beyond the extremity of the beard there is a velvety triangular black signal spot. The rest of the surface is covered with small black-purple spots on a creamy-yellow ground. The spots tend to coalesce into veins at the edge.
Standards . Orbicular, with a short haft. The colouring is composed of delicate bluish veins on a creamy-white ground. A few hairs are usually to be found along the inner side of the haft.
Styles , pale yellow, finely dotted with dark purple.
Crests , low, recurved with serrate edge.
Stigma , entire.
Filaments , short, cream.
Anthers , much longer, cream.
Pollen , cream.
Capsule , a long eIIipse, trigonal, dehiscing below the apex.
Seeds , globose or pyriform, dark reddish brown with a conspicuous white aril.


This fine Iris comes nearest perhaps to I. Lortetii and only differs from it in being less delicately coloured. The veining is coarser and more pronounced and the groundwork is not so clear. It is one of the sturdiest members of the section and, if only the difficulties of cultivation could be overcome, it would be a valuable addition to any garden.
Yr. Bk., I.S. (E.) 42. 1933;


Often spelled Bismarkiana; Palestine Iris; Iris sari Nazarensis; Iris sari var. lurida ----

Chromosome counts;

2n=20-Simonet 1934. ----


Iris bismarkiana cultivars are; 'Benjaminii; 'Nazarena' ';Nazarena Thompsoni' ----


Iris bismarkiana crosses have produced the following cultivars' 'Pearl Sea', 'Platinum Diamond'

¼ Iris bismarkiana crosses 'Wiloh's White Magic' ----

Distribution & Cultivation


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-- Main.RPries - 2009-11-08
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Bismarckiana_Bot_Mag_7986.jpgjpg Bismarckiana_Bot_Mag_7986.jpg manage 353 K 12 Feb 2014 - 19:29 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
Iris-bismarckianaClay.jpgjpg Iris-bismarckianaClay.jpg manage 27 K 15 Jul 2016 - 14:37 BobPries Clay Osbourne photo
Iris-bismarckianaJoseff.jpgjpg Iris-bismarckianaJoseff.jpg manage 117 K 15 Jul 2016 - 14:38 BobPries David Josef photo
Iris_bismarckiana_vertical.jpgjpg Iris_bismarckiana_vertical.jpg manage 62 K 09 Oct 2010 - 20:21 Main.sapiry Photo by Yuval Sapir
P10313-1412043.jpgjpg P10313-1412043.jpg manage 2 MB 28 Jan 2022 - 22:06 YoungBotanist  
P10313-1418452.jpgjpg P10313-1418452.jpg manage 1 MB 28 Jan 2022 - 22:06 YoungBotanist  
bismarckiana_-_Alcain.jpgjpg bismarckiana_-_Alcain.jpg manage 51 K 06 Feb 2010 - 02:01 Main.Betsy881 Photo by Alcain
bismarckiana_-_Dathe.jpgjpg bismarckiana_-_Dathe.jpg manage 23 K 06 Feb 2010 - 02:02 Main.Betsy881 Photo by Dathe
Topic revision: r13 - 28 Jan 2022, YoungBotanist
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