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■ (SPEC) Iris spuria subspecies halophila

1773, Pallas

Iris spuria 'Halophila' (Peter Simon Pallas, 1773, West to Northcentral Asia). Spur; 36" (90 cm), BL; Light blue self. Reise 3; 713. tab. n. fig. 2. 1773; "being three feet or more high and the leaves sometimes four; these yield the same offensive smell, when bruised, as those of spuria; they are very smooth, even striated and linear." 2n=44. Dickerson 1794. [Considered as Iris spuria L. subspecies halophila Pallas in Mathew's, The Iris].

See below:

Haliphilea by JanLauritzen.jpghalophila01.JPGhalophila02.jpghalophila03.jpghalophila04.jpghalophila05.jpghalophila06.jpghalophila09.jpghalophila1.jpghalophila2.jpghalophila3.jpghalophila6.jpghalophila7.jpghalophila8.jpghalophila9.jpghalophila94.JPGhalophila in Bot Mag.jpghalophilia02.jpghalophilia07.jpghalophilla91.JPGhalophilla92.JPGhalophilla93.JPGhalophylla kelaidis crp.jpgI HALOPHILA1 EI.jpgI HALOPHILA EI.jpgIris halophila valley.jpg


Pallas, in Reise 3; 713. tab. n. fig. 2. 1773;
Dickerson 1794
Dykes, in The Genus Iris, 1913 wrote "Halophila is distinguished from the western forms of I. spuria by its relatively shorter stem, by the very narrow segments and by the small, horizontal blade of the fall. The colour of the flowers is variable and may be either white, veined with yellow, a dull yellow or some shade of grey-purple. Some of the white flowered specimens are desirable but the others are hardly worth growing as garden plants.

There is no doubt that forms of this Iris are widely distributed in Central Asia between Persia, Turkestan and the North West Frontier of India. (Cf. Aitchison's specimens (BM) from Shalizan in the Kurrum Valley, which had white flowers with "a slightly primrose yellow tinge.")

Bunge's name I. sogdiana is of little importance because he relies only on colour and on the shape of the pedicels to separate his plants from typical halophila. Mere colour, however, can scarcely form the basis of a species and pedicels both round and triangular in section are often found on the same plant.

Ker's I. desertorum *Bot. Mag. t. 1514 is merely a lavender form of this Iris and the name is presumably taken from the manuscript name on one of Pallas' specimens (BM).

This Iris is one of the most vigorous of all the forms of I. spuria. The plants quickly grow into close masses of foliage from which emerge numerous stems. The individual flowers are small but they are produced so freely that the whole effect is ornamental. Cultivation is extremely easy, for the plants seem to succeed in any soil. Moreover, the flowers are self-fertilised and seed is produced in abundance.

It germinates readily and halophila is one of the greatest offenders in Botanical Gardens, where its vigorous self-sown seedlings oust the original occupants of the beds and then in their turn provide seeds which are distributed under the names of the plants whose positions they have occupied.
Gawler in Curtis's Botanical Magazine 22: tab. 875. 1805, gives the following note; "We confess that we are unable at present to detect any other distinctions between this and Iris spuria than that it is altogether a much larger plant and possesses considerably more rigidity both in leaves and stem than that; to which mat be added a far greater elongation of the outer valve of the spathe; yet there is a difference in their general appearance, though not easily expressed, that makes it difficult for us to consider them as mere varieties of each other; besides that their habitats are widely distant, this being a native of the salt marshy spots of Siberia, the other of the moist meadows of Germany."
"Our species is among the tallest of the genus, the stem being three feet or more high and the leaves sometimes four; these yield the same offensive smell, when bruised, as those of spuria; they are very smooth, even striated and linear."
"None of its characters have as yet varied by culture, though introduced into our gardens as far back as 1780, by Dr. Peter Pallas. Is not very common in our collections, though of as easy culture and as hardy as any of the genus. Approaches venticosa, but that is shorter with a leafless stem and more inflated spathe": with color illustration.
Tougard 1839;


Iris halophila, Ker-Gawl; Iris halophila . Pallas; Iris guldenstaedtiana Lepechin; Iris desertorum Ker; Iris musulmanica Fomin; Iris sogdiana Bunge; Iris stenogyna Delar.; Iris spuria var. halophila. Considered as Iris spuria subspecies halophila in Mathew's, The Iris.

Chromosome counts

2n=44, 66, Lenz & Day, 1963; 2n=20, Lungeanu, 1970.


'Halophila Lutea'. (Samuel Stillman Berry, 1932). Spur; Y4L, Light yellow self; Berry 1932; synonym Iris halophila, Pall. var. lutescens. [Iris spuria L. subspecies halophila Pallas].


No hybrids have been named with I. halophile as a parent

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region:
Cultivation: Full sun, .

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-09-02
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Haliphilea_by_JanLauritzen.jpgjpg Haliphilea_by_JanLauritzen.jpg manage 70 K 23 Oct 2010 - 18:22 Main.janlauritzen Taken at the AIS 2009 Convention in Kansas City
I_HALOPHILA1_EI.jpgjpg I_HALOPHILA1_EI.jpg manage 128 K 08 Jul 2016 - 13:01 Main.ruiris photo by Izidor Golob
I_HALOPHILA_EI.jpgjpg I_HALOPHILA_EI.jpg manage 93 K 08 Jul 2016 - 12:28 Main.ruiris from the book 'The Iris' (G. Rodionenko et al., 1981)
Iris_halophila_valley.jpgjpg Iris_halophila_valley.jpg manage 42 K 21 Sep 2010 - 11:43 UnknownUser Rodionenko photo of I. halophila in habitat
halophila01.JPGJPG halophila01.JPG manage 65 K 02 Sep 2014 - 16:02 Main.TLaurin Photo by Jeanette Graham
halophila02.jpgjpg halophila02.jpg manage 153 K 06 Jun 2017 - 21:17 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila03.jpgjpg halophila03.jpg manage 166 K 06 Jun 2017 - 21:19 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila04.jpgjpg halophila04.jpg manage 128 K 05 Jun 2018 - 22:22 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila05.jpgjpg halophila05.jpg manage 106 K 09 Jun 2018 - 03:17 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila06.jpgjpg halophila06.jpg manage 189 K 19 Jun 2019 - 12:04 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila09.jpgjpg halophila09.jpg manage 62 K 05 Jul 2020 - 20:58 Main.TLaurin Photo by Deborah Petrie-Manitoba,Canada
halophila1.jpgjpg halophila1.jpg manage 128 K 13 Jun 2017 - 12:54 Main.TLaurin Photo by Eleanor Hutchison near Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada-Z3
halophila2.jpgjpg halophila2.jpg manage 123 K 11 Jun 2018 - 21:49 Main.TLaurin Photo by Eleanor Hutchison-Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada
halophila3.jpgjpg halophila3.jpg manage 140 K 21 Jun 2019 - 11:23 Main.TLaurin Photo by Eleanor Hutchison, near Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada,Z3
halophila6.jpgjpg halophila6.jpg manage 156 K 18 Jun 2019 - 03:22 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila7.jpgjpg halophila7.jpg manage 189 K 13 Jun 2019 - 03:19 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila8.jpgjpg halophila8.jpg manage 184 K 13 Jun 2019 - 03:20 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila9.jpgjpg halophila9.jpg manage 188 K 15 Jun 2019 - 02:49 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila94.JPGJPG halophila94.JPG manage 187 K 25 Jun 2022 - 15:25 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophila_in_Bot_Mag.jpgjpg halophila_in_Bot_Mag.jpg manage 58 K 22 Sep 2010 - 17:57 UnknownUser Curtis's Botanical Magazine
halophilia02.jpgjpg halophilia02.jpg manage 83 K 06 Jun 2014 - 18:35 Main.TLaurin Photo scanned from the Rosalie Figge slide collection
halophilia07.jpgjpg halophilia07.jpg manage 121 K 16 Jun 2018 - 19:50 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophilla91.JPGJPG halophilla91.JPG manage 169 K 22 Jun 2022 - 15:34 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophilla92.JPGJPG halophilla92.JPG manage 151 K 22 Jun 2022 - 18:54 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophilla93.JPGJPG halophilla93.JPG manage 176 K 22 Jun 2022 - 18:56 Main.TLaurin Photo by Barbara-Jean Jackson-Manitoba,Canada
halophylla_kelaidis_crp.jpgjpg halophylla_kelaidis_crp.jpg manage 38 K 02 Sep 2010 - 18:51 UnknownUser Panayoti Kelaidis photo
Topic revision: r34 - 25 Jun 2022, TLaurin
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