See New TB Image Gallery


You are here: Iris Wiki>Spec Web>SpeciesIrises>SpecClarkei (05 Apr 2022, TLaurin)Edit Attach

■ (SPEC) Iris clarkei Bak.

1892, Botanical author Baker

Iris clarkei Baker (John Gilbert Baker, 1892, Sikkim); Section Limniris; Series Sibericae (Sib); height 24" (60 cm), Color Class-S6; Flowers from mid blue-violet to dark blue or reddish purple, falls with a large white signal patch with violet veining. Handbook of the Irideae. 25. 1892.

See below:


Otto Stapf offers the following comments in Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Tab. 8323. vol.136. 1910. "This handsome Iris was met with for the first time in 1848 by Sir J. D. Hooker, who found it on Tonglo as well as on the Yakla in Sikkim at about 10,000 ft. above sea level, and made in the field a colored sketch of the plant which is now in the Kew collection. It was again gathered on Tonglo in 1857 by the late Dr. Y. Thomson, in 1868 by the late Dr. T. Anderson, and in 1875 by the late Mr. C. B. Clarke, to whom the species was dedicated by Mr. Baker. It has been gathered in the Chumbi Valley, further to the east, by the collectors of the late Sir George King, to whom European Iris lovers owe its presence in their collections, where it has found a welcome since 1876. Treated originally, for reasons which have been explained by Mr. Dykes, from whose garden at Godalming came the material on which our illustration has been based, as a member of the Pseudoevansia group, it now appears that its true position in the genus is near the Western Chinese I. Delavayi, Mich., in the Apogon group.

Its cultivation offers no special difficulty and its propagation is easy. Mr. Dykes has called attention to the peculiar liability of this species to considerable variation in the form and coloration of the standards, and to some variation in the foliage. In imported plants he finds that all the leaves have a curiously polished upper surface, whereas in some seedlings there may be found leaves that are distinctly glaucous on both surfaces, while other shoots on the same plants bear leaves which show the characteristic polished upper surface.

Description-Herb; in cultivation sometimes nearly 3 ft. high, in wild state rarely so tall; rootstock wide-creeping, rather slender, clothed with the fibrous remains of the spathes. Leaves linear, acute, 10-24 in. long, 1/3-1/2 in wide, at first erect, the upper half ultimately drooping, finely but distinctly nerved, more or less glaucous on one side. Scape nearly cylindrical, solid, sparingly branched or often unbranched. Spathe 2-valved and 2-flowered; valves lanceolate, acute or almost acuminate, herbaceous, green, about 3 in. long. Pedicels in flower 1-2 in., at length 3 in. long. Perianth purple-violet, variegated, nearly 3 in. across; tube about 1/3 in. long; outer segments unbearded and without crests, the somewhat spreading claw rather broad and about as long as the limb, which is 1 ¼--1 1/3 in. long, obovate, or slightly drooping, flushed at the base with yellow, splashed with white in the middle and beyond this purple-violet; inner segments obliquely erect, oblanceolate, 1 ½-1 ¾ in. long, narrowed to a slender claw and of a violet tint. Anther 7 lin. Long. Style-arms blue, including the crests 1 ½-1 ¾ in. long, the lobes rounded, overlapping, the crests 5 lin. Long and 6 lin. wide. Ovary 3-gonous. Capsule oblong, 3-gonous, 1 1/3-2 in. long, the sides 7-9 lin. wide. Seeds suborbicular, flattened, 2-2 ¼ lin. wide, dark brown with pale margins."
Dykes, The Genus Iris 28. 1913,
Macoun; Van T. 1916; Bon. 1920; Bennett 1929; Per. 1938; Wal. 1934; Starker 1939;


Clarke Iris; Iris himalaica, Dykes. ----

Chromosome number

2n=40, Sim. 1934, ex Randolph & Mitra, Bulletin of the American Iris Society 140: 58. 1956. 2n=38, Sachiko Kurasawa 1971. ----


Iris clarkei: 'Clarkei (blue)', 'Clarkei (violet)', 'Locks Blue', 'Locks Purple'



Iris clarkei crosses: Crosses within the subseries Chrysographes are often referred to as Sino-Siberians
'Berliner Riesen', 'Diamond Jubilee', 'Diomed', 'Far Voyager', 'Fifinella', 'Gossamer Sails', 'Lightly Touched', 'Normal', 'Ormonde', 'Persimmon'. ----

Distribution and Cultivation

Please do not enter images that are not your own without owners' permission, this is against Wiki policy

"Although the Encyclopedia is free to all, it is supported by Emembership in AIS, If you would like to help sustain this reference, for $15 you can become an Emember, click here."

Interested in Iris Species? Please visit the: Species Iris Group of North America website.

To Report errors do not use comment box but contact the Iris Encyclopedia Photo Manager or Iris Encyclopedia Manager Comment box is reserved for added information about the topic.

Your Observations Are Valued. Please make note of bud count, branching, purple based foliage and bloom time, etc. Because these are affected by climate, note date, year and geographic location and write these and other comments in the comment box below.


-- Main.RPries - 2009-12-01
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
AH-I_CLARKEI_BLUE-WITT-SC.jpgjpg AH-I_CLARKEI_BLUE-WITT-SC.jpg manage 27 K 19 Sep 2010 - 21:10 UnknownUser Lorena Reid photo
AI-I_CLARKEI_VIOLET-WITT-SC.jpgjpg AI-I_CLARKEI_VIOLET-WITT-SC.jpg manage 27 K 19 Sep 2010 - 21:11 UnknownUser Lorena Reid photo
AJ-I_CLARKEI_X_CLARKEI-SC.jpgjpg AJ-I_CLARKEI_X_CLARKEI-SC.jpg manage 63 K 19 Sep 2010 - 21:11 UnknownUser Lorena Reid photo
AK-I_CLARKEI_SELECTED_HYB-SC.jpgjpg AK-I_CLARKEI_SELECTED_HYB-SC.jpg manage 27 K 19 Sep 2010 - 21:21 UnknownUser Lorena Reid photo
clarkei01.jpgjpg clarkei01.jpg manage 78 K 19 Feb 2015 - 16:07 Main.TLaurin Photo scanned from the Adele and Lewis Lawyer slide collection
clarkei_edited_edited-1.jpgjpg clarkei_edited_edited-1.jpg manage 42 K 01 Dec 2009 - 20:32 UnknownUser Plate from Dykes' Genus Iris
Topic revision: r13 - 05 Apr 2022, TLaurin
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Iris Wiki? Send feedback