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■ (SPEC) Iris sibirica L.

1753, Botanical author Linnaeus

Iris sibirica L. ( Carl Linnaeus, 1753, Central Europe & Russia); Section Limniris, Series Sibiricae; Height 20-48" (50-120 cm); Blue flowers:

See below:

Please contact Brock Heilman for image use.Photo by Ensata GardensPhoto by Joe Pye WeedSibirica from Plate in DykesPhoto by Paul BlackPhoto by Rowden Gardens-EnglandPhoto by Joe Pye WeedPhoto by Marty Shafer/Jan Sacks-Joe Pye WeedSibirica AlbaBiodiversity Heritage Libraryseed


Spec. Pl. ed. 1: 39. 1753;
Jacquin, 1773 Florae Austriacae, sive, Plantarum selectarum in Austriae archiducatu :sponte crescentium icones, ad vivum coloratae, et descriptionibus, ac synonymis illustratae /opera et sumptibus Nicolai Josephi Jacquin. table 3
Wal. 1928;
The Botanical Magazine table 50, 1787This species of Iris is a native of Germany and Siberia, and is distinguished from those usually cultivated in our gardens by the superior height of its Items, and the narrow ness of its leaves; from which last character it is often, by mistake, called graminea ; but the true graminea is a very different plant. The Iris sibirica is a hardy perennial, and will thrive in almost any soil or situation; but grows most luxuriantly in a moist one, and flowers in June. It Is propagated most readily, by parting its roots in autumn.
Redouté, Les Liliacées, 1813, VII table 420
Redouté, Les Liliacées, 1816, VIII, table 438
Dickson 1794; Prince 1823; Francis 1820; Macoun;
Dykes, The Genus Iris 20. 1913, Linnaeus defines this plant by referring to Gmelin, Flora Sibir. 1. p. 28 (1747), who speaks of it as a hollow-stemmed Iris, received from Siberia. Linnaeus also quotes from C. Bauhin's Pinax, p. 32, the description of· an I. pratensis, whose narrow leaves have not the slightly fetid smell of those of I. spuria. (The latter was also classed by Bauhin under the name of I. pratenst's.) Bauhin in turn quotes Clusius' History of Pannonian Plants (p. 252). The latter's description is as usual that of an acute observer of the living plant, whose habitat is given as Austria. He notes the short capsules, which turn almost black with age and open slightly at the apex. This exactly describes the capsules of I. sibirica as we now know it. This Iris must be carefully distinguished from the Eastern I. orzentalis of Thunberg, which seems to deserve specific rank. The two plants are very different in appearance, though the flowers are very similar (see Plate I). In the European species the flowers are raised well above the foliage, sometimes to a height of 3-4 feet, while in the Oriental plant the stem is shorter than the leaves. Moreover in the former a side shoot is common below the terminal head, which contains 3 or even 5 flowers on pedicels of varying lengths up to 3 inches. I. orzentalz's, on the other hand, rarely has more than the single terminal head of two flowers and the pedicels are shorter. The capsule is long, angular and narrow instead of short, rounded and comparatively broad as in I. sibirica (cf. Fig. 2) . The seeds of the latter are flat and large, somewhat D-shaped, while those of I. orientalz's are smaller, thicker and indeed almost cubical. Although it is easy to distinguish the typical European plant from that which is here described as I. orientalis and which, moreover, cerfainly breeds true from seed, it is by no means so easy to define the distribution of the two plants. Herbarium specimens alone are extremely unconvincing, for the capsules and seeds are usually wanting and it is in these that the real difference lies. Without them, it is impossible to say whether the Far Eastern forms from Manchuria and Corea should really be classed as I. sibirica or I. orientalis. To add to the difficulty, I have never yet been able to obtain either plants or seeds of any form from Eastern Asia on the authenticity of which I could absolutely rely. It is, however, true that seeds, which I have received as being those of Corean plants, have been of the small cubical type, characteristic of I. orientalis. It is true, too, that all the herbarium specimens from the Far East have stems that are barely, if at all, longer than the leaves, a point in which they resemble I. orientalis. Of the spathes it is impossible to speak with certainty, for it is difficult to say whether a dried spathe of I. sibirica or I. orientalis was scarious or herbaceous when it was alive. If we accept the theory that I. sibirica is confined to Europe, the question arises as to how the name sibirica came to be applied to a European plant. An answer to this question is that the Far Eastern plant was probably confused with the European specimens. Pallas' specimens (BM) show that it was known in Europe in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Linnaeus, as usual, took the name from another author, Gmelin, and did not base it on first hand knowledge. Of I. sibirica many garden forms are known, which may or may not be peculiar to definite localities, for differences of soil easily account for differences in the length and breadth of the stem and leaves. Such forms, therefore, as acuta, a dwarf plant with narrow foliage, scarcely deserve to be distinguished by name. Still less right has the name flexuosa to be recognised, for it only represents a white flowered form, differing from blue forms merely in the absence of the colour'. The supposed variety trigonocarpa (see Synonymy) is based on the characters of the capsule of I. prismatica Pursh, with which a small form of I. sibirica was confused, while the I. triflora Balbis, which Ascherson and Graebner make into another variety (see Syn. pp. 506-7), is shown by its ovary to be a variety of I. ensata Thunb, In fact, until plants can be obtained from various localities and grown side by side under similar conditions of soil and climate, we can only leave unsettled the question of the existence of distinct local forms.


Siberian Iris; Iris acuta, Willd.; Iris angustifolia, Gilib.; Iris erirrhiza, Pospich; Iris flexuosa, Murr.; Iris maritima, Miller; Iris pratensis, Lam.; Iris stricta, Moench; Iris trigonocarpa, A. Braun K. Koch & Bouche; var. caucasica, Maxim.; Xiphium flexuosum, Alef.; Xiphium sibericum, Schrank; Xyridion flexuosum, Klatt.; Xyridion sibericum, Klatt.

Chromosome counts

2n=28, Sim. 1928; 2n=28, Skalinska, 1961; 2n=28, Wcislo, 1964; 2n=28 Baerji, 1970; 2n=28, Sharma, 1970; 2n=28; Lovka & Sus. 1971; 2n=28, Pop.& Cesch. 1975,1976; 2n=28, Wetschnig, 1988; 2n=28, Malakhova & Markova, 1994; 2n=28, Muratova et al., 2013.


Iris sibirica cultivars
'Acuta' ; 'Alba Grandiflora' ; 'Caesar's Ghost' ; 'Elmeney' ; 'Enid Burgoyne' ; 'Flight Of Butterflies' ; 'Forward And Back' ; 'Grandis' ; 'Lactea' ; 'Leucantha'; 'Little Blue Sparkler' ; 'Mongolius' ; 'Nigrescens'; 'Niklasse'; 'Prairie In Bloom' ; 'Pritiazheniye' ; 'Shaker's Prayer' ; 'Sibirica Alba'; 'Sibirica Albescens'; 'Sibirica Angustifolia' ; 'Sibirica Atropurpurea' ; 'Sibirica Baxteri' ; 'Sibirica Blue Bird' ; 'Sibirica 'Compacta' ; 'Sibirica Cristata' ; 'Sibirica Flore Pleno' ; 'Sibirica Gracilis' ; 'Sibirica Mrs. Perry' ; 'Sibirica Nana' ; 'Sibirica Nana Alba' ; 'Sibirica Papillon' ; 'Sibirica Snowdrift' ; 'Snow Prince' ; 'U.S.O.' ; 'Weathered Sibirica', 'Wisley White' ;


Iris sibirica crosses;
'Abitibi' ; 'Aindling Goldauge' ; 'Aindling Libelle' ; 'Aindling Morgenstimmung' ; 'Aindling Rohrsaenger' ; 'Banish Misfortune' ; 'Butterfly Fountain' ; 'Chaudiere' ; 'Chrysobirica' ; 'Chrysobirica Gloriosa' ; 'Chrysobirica Purpurea' ; 'Common Denominator' ; 'Cookley Blue' ; 'Foretell' ; 'Gatineau' ; 'Helicon' ; 'Hohe Warte' ; 'Kootenay' ; 'Lichterfeldius' ; 'Madawaska' ; 'Matane' ; 'Mauve Snowtop' ; 'Moonscape' ; 'Neidenstein' ; 'Ottawa' ; 'Rideau' ; 'Rimouski' ; 'Royal Californian' ; 'Pausback Sibtosa' ; 'Pembina' ; 'Pennywhistle' ; 'Pickanock' ; 'Salamander Crossing' ; 'Sarah Tiffney' ; 'Sibulleyanna' ; 'Soothsayer' ; 'Sporting Chance' ; 'Starsteps' ; 'Stilles Wasser' ; 'True Blue'?; 'Vidtinky Nochi' ; 'Violet Wave' ; 'Weber's Spring Blues' ; 'Zeta'

¼ Iris sibirica crosses;
'Barbara Schmieder'; 'Richelieu'; 'Sibtosa Duchess'; 'Sibtosa King'; SIBTOSA PRINCESS; SIBTOSA QUEEN; SWEET LITTLE SUSIE; WHITE AMBER;

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region: Europe
Cultivation: Full sun, .

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-- BobPries - 2010-02-11
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
BHP_6464-X2_i_sibirica.jpgjpg BHP_6464-X2_i_sibirica.jpg manage 79 K 20 Feb 2016 - 04:45 BrockHeilman Please contact Brock Heilman for image use.
ISiberica02.jpgjpg ISiberica02.jpg manage 142 K 30 Apr 2014 - 20:55 TerryLaurin Photo by Ensata Gardens
SibericaNana03.jpgjpg SibericaNana03.jpg manage 109 K 30 May 2014 - 19:32 TerryLaurin Photo by Paul Black
Siberica_from_Dykes_Genus_Iris.jpgjpg Siberica_from_Dykes_Genus_Iris.jpg manage 29 K 20 Apr 2010 - 12:54 BobPries Sibirica from Plate in Dykes' Genus Iris
Sibirica_Alba.JPGJPG Sibirica_Alba.JPG manage 70 K 30 Jan 2011 - 16:16 IrisP  
Sibirica_Bot_Mag_50.jpgjpg Sibirica_Bot_Mag_50.jpg manage 134 K 21 Nov 2013 - 11:58 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
sanguinea03.JPGJPG sanguinea03.JPG manage 485 K 13 Mar 2018 - 23:10 TerryLaurin Photo by Joe Pye Weed's Garden-seed pods of I. Sanguinea and I. Sabirica
sibirica01.jpgjpg sibirica01.jpg manage 38 K 09 Oct 2014 - 21:01 TerryLaurin Photo by Rowden Gardens-England
sibirica02.JPGJPG sibirica02.JPG manage 290 K 13 Mar 2018 - 23:12 TerryLaurin Photo by Joe Pye Weed's Garden-seed pod of I. Sibirica.
sibirica1.jpgjpg sibirica1.jpg manage 197 K 14 Jun 2016 - 21:40 TerryLaurin Photo by Marty Shafer/Jan Sacks-Joe Pye Weed's Garden
sibirica_seed.jpgjpg sibirica_seed.jpg manage 35 K 29 Sep 2010 - 18:23 BobPries seed
Topic revision: r33 - 08 Dec 2018, BobPries
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