| The Garden. An illustrated weekly journal of horticulture in all its branches [ed. William Robinson], vol. 9: p. 29 (1876)This, when seen peeping through the ground in winter or early spring, reminds one of the common Netted Iris (I. reticulata) ; but its growth is rather taller, and the " fall petals " are broader and more conspicuously spotted, or rather blotched. Its colour is rich bluish-purple, flushed towards the base of the petals with rose-pink, the markings being of the deepest purple relieved by a medial ridge or crest of gold in the centre of the three external perianth segments. Its leaves are, like those of the Netted Iris, four-angled, and, like that beautiful plant, this also belongs to the bulbous group. When I first saw it pushing through the earth on an eastern border at Kew, in the winter of 1874, there was a little patch of snow beside the flower, and nothing could have set it off to better advantage than this, and a tuft of the vivid green Poa annua, with which it was also associated. This Iris is described as a native of Mount Lebanon and also of Mount Gerizim ; it was sent to Kew by M. Berberey, of La Ferriere, near Geneva, in March, 1873, who describes it as nearly related to I. reticulata, from which it differs not only in structural characters, but in flowering six weeks earlier than that species. We have now before us flowers of it even more delicately penciled and blotched than that lately figured in the " Botanical Magazine," and, while the flowers are there described as being inodorous, the blossoms thus freshly gathered are deliciously fragrant. Mr. P. Barr, from whom we have received the flowers in question, informs us that it has been in bloom with him for the last fortnight without having received any protection whatever. Its culture is by no means difficult. Treated like the last-named species it grows and blooms freely. Our engraving shows the size of the flower, and its colour as far as can be done by a wood-cut. This, with its allies, I. reticulata and I. stylosa, is well worth a place in sheltered positions in warm and deep rich soils and in every garden. B.
| Dykes, The Genus Iris Tab. 46, 226. 1913, Description. Rootstock , a slender bulb, with netted coats, like that of I. reticulata, but producing a large number of offsets at the base. Leaves , quadrate, with four unequal sides and horny corners and tip, the first to appear being 6-8 in. long at flowering time. Stem , very short. Spathe valves , pointed, colourless, transparent, with a few green veins. Pedicel , none, or very short. Ovary , cylindrical, ½ in. long. Tube , 3-4 in. long, colourless at the base, then becoming much spotted with reddish purple. Falls , under suiface, of a greyish or greenish white, with the blotches and veins showing through; the edge of the blade is usually blue.Upper suiface. The haft is separated from the ovate blade by a very slight constriction. The central yellowish ridge is not very prominent, and is marked with black tubercles at intervals. The haft is marked with branching blue veins, which towards the centre line become broken into dots. The edge and tip of the blade are deep blue, the central region being a creamy white marked with irregular scattered blue blotches, 2-2½ in. long by ¾ in. wide. Standards , divergent, very nearly as long as the falls with a long canaliculate haft and a small oblanceolate blade. Styles , becoming distinctly wider in the upper part, so as to be almost triangular, about an inch long, blue, with a well-marked keel. Crests , large, 3/4 in. by 3/8 in., lanceolate rather than deltoid, blue, with radiating, deeper veins. Stigma , bilobed, with rounded outline. Filaments , expanding at the base, white, spotted with purple. Anthers , bluish, or white tinged with blue at the edges.</br Pollen , bluish white, of the characteristic reticulata type. Capsule , cylindrical, an inch or more in length, with thin, papery walls. Seeds , of the characteristic reticulata type.Observations.Some of the difficulties encountered in trying to enumerate and locate the various varieties of this Iris have already been indicated in the introductory notes to the Retz'culata Section (see p. 220). Another difficulty is that the original description of the species will fit equally well either of two forms which, owing to the persistence of some of their characters, it seems best to separate. These characters are the direction of the standards and the appearance of the spathes.If we may take the figure of I. histrio in Gard. Chron. 1892, 11. p. 729, and in Foster, Bulbous Irises, p. 8 (1892) as correct, then in I. histrio the standards are not held erect but incline outwards, and the narrow, greenish, tapering spathes only reach to some distance below the top of the tube (see Plate XLVI, Fig. 4). The closely allied form, in which the standards are erect and tend almost to fold inwards one over the other (see Plate XL V, Fig. 2 ), has longer spathes, in which the white ground between the green veins is much more prominent. At the same time I hardly feel justified in the present state of our knowledge in giving this form a specific name, nor have I been able to ascertain the locality from which it comes. Meanwhile the varietal name orthopetala will serve to distinguish it.If it were not that the difference in the direction of the standards is always apparently accompanied by the difference in the spathes that has already been mentioned, I should be inclined to attach little importance to it, for I find that plants, which none would hesitate to call Krelagei', have no less than three forms of standard, incurved, erect and obliquely divergent. The variety atropurpurea has apparently remained unknown except for the few bulbs that I received from Marash in 1908. The intense black sheen on the dark red ground is most striking, and the black processes that top the central ridge in typical I. histrio here become longer and more glistening, while the yellow central ridge is wholly absent. Even the anthers and the filaments are stained with the same black-red colour, but in shape and growth this curious plant differs in no way from I. histrio, of which it is a mere colour variety. Up to the present, I have been unable to obtain seeds to decide the interesting question as to whether or no it would breed true to the red-black colour.See the introductory notes on the reticulata section see reference at (Subgenus Hermodactyloides )