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■ (SPEC) Iris boissieri Henriques

1885, Botanical author Henriques

Iris boissieri Henriques (Julio Augusto Henriques, 1885, Portugal); Subgenus Xiphium, Spanish Iris; height 12" (30 cm); Color Class-S3M;

See below:
Xavier Perdiz photoCurtis Botanical MagazineReal Jardín Botánico, Madrid, SpainRafael Diez Dominguez photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoRafael Diez Dominguez photo


Bot. Soc. Broter. 3: 133. tab. 3. 1885, illustrated;
Willk. Illust. Plant. Hisp. Vol. ii. P. 46, t. 118;
Foster in The Gardeners' Chronicles 1887, vol. ii. P. 38;
Baker in Curtis's Botanical Magazine 116: tab. 7097. 1890, gives the following notes along with the color illustration; "This new bulbous Iris is known only on a single mountain in the south of Portugal, the Serra do Gerez, where it grows at an altitude of from two thousand to three thousand feet above sea-level. It belongs to the true Xiphions, the same group that includes the well-known English and Spanish Irises of gardens, with all their multiform variations in the size and coloring of the flower, and is nearest to I. filifolia, Boiss. (Xiphion filifolium, Hook. Fil. In Bot. Mag. T. 5928), which is also a native of the Spanish Penninsula. It differs, however, from all its neighbors in having a rudimentary beard, like that of a Pogoniris, down the keel of the lower part of the outer segments. There is a specimen in the Kew herbarium, collected by Winkler in 1876. It was first flowered in England in 1877 by Professor M. Foster, who received the bulbs from Mr. A. W. Tait of Oporto. Our drawing is made from material supplied by Messrs. Barr and Son, of Tooting and Convent Garden. It flowers in England at the beginning of June.
Descr. Bulb small, oblong, with thin brown outer tunics and a few fleshy root-fibers. Stem a foot long, slender, terete, simple, bearing at the base one or two subterete long-pointed green leaves a foot long, deeply channeled down the face, and higher up several others, which grow gradually smaller til the uppermost is entirely bract-like and adpressed. Spathe inflated, two inches long; valves greenish and moderately firm at the flowering time; pedicel very short. Flower scentless; ovary cylindrical, acutely trigonous, an inch long; perianth-tube green, slender, above an inch long; limb bright lilac, an inch and a half long; outer segments with an obovate reflexing blade, about as long as the cuneate claw, with a bright yellow keel down the face, which is furnished with a few gland tipped hairs like those of the beard of a Pogoniris; inner segments as long as the outer, erect, obovate-unguiculate, half an inch broad. Style-branches reddish-lilac, under an inch long; crests small, erect, deltoid. Anthers yellow, half an inch long."
Dykes in The Genus Iris, 1913:
Rootstock , a slender bulb with faintly ribbed brown tunics.
Leaves , linear, very deeply channelled, slightly ribbed on the outside, about a foot long, of a light yellowish green.
Stem , about 12 in. high, bearing one or two flowers, hidden, except for the upper inch or two, by three sheathing leaves.
Spathe valves , light yellowish green, not at all scarious, rather navicular, 2 in. long.
Pedicel , ½ in.
Ovary , 1¼ in. acutely trigonal.
Tube , about 1½-2 in. long, slender.
Falls . The obovate blade narrows somewhat suddenly to the wedge-shaped haft. The colour is a rich blue purple with conspicuous red-purple veins. There is a narrow pointed signal patch of yellow, which becomes a yellow streak along the otherwise reddish-purple haft. Along this yellow streak and almost to the end of the patch runs a beard of thin yellow hairs. 2 in. by 3/4 in.
Standards , obovate, gradually narrowing to the short haft, purple in the upper part and reddish below, erect not connivent, 1½ in. long by 5/8 in. broad.
Styles , held close down on falls, reddish purple with dark streak along the central ridge.
Crests , triangular, darker than the styles.
Stigma , deeply bilobed.
Filaments , short.
Anthers , large, slightly longer than the filaments.
Pollen , yellow.
Capsule , trigonal, narrow with shallow groove on either side, 1½ in. by ¼ in., of a light terracotta colour.
Seeds , small, spherical or pyriform, dark reddish brown, occasionally somewhat flattened.

This is one of the most distinct of the Spanish Irises, from all the rest of which it differs in having a conspicuous beard of bright yellow hairs. It is apparently confined to the Gerez mountains in Northern Portugal and even there it is becoming rare owing to the depredations of reckless collectors. Unfortunately, too, it is not absolutely hardy in England, certainly not so hardy as the ordinary Spanish Irises. The severe winter of 1908-9 killed all my bulbs, including even a number of seedlings which had not flowered. It needs therefore either a warm position or the shelter of a frame to do well and succeeds best in a soil rich in humus and well drained. In any case the bulbs should be lifted in early August and kept in sand for a few weeks, to ensure their having a thorough rest before growth begins again with the autumn rains.
Krel. 1891; 1913; Van T. 1900; Grull. 1907; Wal. 1913; Orp. 1928;
A.M., R.H.S. 1934; Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 59: 4, 401. Oct. 1934;


Yellowbeard Iris; Iris diversifolia, Merino; Iris heterophylla, Merino.


Chromosome counts






Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region:


Xavier Perdiz photoCurtis Botanical MagazineReal Jardín Botánico, Madrid, SpainRafael Diez Dominguez photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoXavier Perdiz photoRafael Diez Dominguez photo

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-- BobPries - 2010-01-08
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Boissieri-Dominguez.jpgjpg Boissieri-Dominguez.jpg manage 40 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:40 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
BoissieriReal.jpgjpg BoissieriReal.jpg manage 91 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:40 BobPries Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid, Spain
Boissieriedited.jpgjpg Boissieriedited.jpg manage 54 K 11 Jan 2012 - 18:10 BobPries Curtis Botanical Magazine
Iris-boissieri-21.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-21.jpg manage 193 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:45 BobPries Rafael Diez Dominguez photo
Iris-boissieri-31.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-31.jpg manage 185 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:46 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-41.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-41.jpg manage 161 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:48 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-51.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-51.jpg manage 143 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:50 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-61.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-61.jpg manage 178 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:52 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-71.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-71.jpg manage 168 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:53 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-81.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-81.jpg manage 166 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:54 BobPries Xavier Perdiz photo
Iris-boissieri-Dominguez2.jpgjpg Iris-boissieri-Dominguez2.jpg manage 152 K 20 Jan 2015 - 17:47 BobPries Rafael Diez Dominguez photo
Topic revision: r10 - 01 Dec 2016, BobPries
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