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■ (SPEC) Iris variegata L.

1753, Botanical author Linneaus

Iris variegata L. (Carolus Linnaeus, 1753, Hungary and southeastern Europe); Section Iris . IB; 8-18" (20-45 cm); Midseason bloom. Color Code Y3M. Standards yellow; falls whitish or pale yellow, heavily veined reddish brown or violet, beard yellow; Linnaeus in Species Plantarum 38. 1753; The term variegata is also used as a name for a color pattern with yellow standards and reddish falls.

See below:

1753IrisVariegata01.JPGIris-variegataAlbaMathes.jpgIris-variegataBohmert.jpgIris-variegataBohmert2.jpgIris-variegataBohnert3.jpgIris-variegataMathes.jpgIrisVariegatavarPontica9.JPGVariegata.JPGvariegata01.JPGvariegata03.jpgvariegata07.JPGvariegata08.JPGvariegata09.JPGvariegata1.JPGvariegata redoute 292cropped.jpgvariegata sm.jpgvariegataBeardsley8.jpgvariegatapontica01.JPGvariegatapontica02.JPGvariegatapontica03.JPGvariegatapontica1.JPGvariegatapontica10.JPGvariegatapontica11.JPGvariegatapontica12.JPGvariegatapontica3.JPGvariegated06.JPGvariegated060.JPGvarigeta5.JPG


Linn. Species Plantarum 38. 1753;
Curtis, W., (1787), table 16, Curtis's Botanical Magazine. (cultivated probably before 1613);"This species of Iris, inferior to few in point of beauty, is a native of the hilly paftures of Hungary, and flowers in our gardens in the month of May, and beginning of June. It is a hardy perennial, requires no particular treatment, and may be propagated by parting its roots in Autumn."
Berry 1929; Macoun;
Redouté, Les Liliacées
Listed by Gordon 1790; Dickson 1794; Prince 1823;
Baker in Journal of the Linnean Society xvi. page 145, 1877 notes "64. I. VARIEGATA, Linn. Sp. Plant, edit. 2, 56 ; Jacq. FL Austr. t. 5; Curt. Bot. Mag. t. 16; Red. Lil. t. 292; Reich. Ic. Fl. Germ. tab. 334. fig. 761. Europa centralis orientalis.
Var. BELGICA, Spach Hist. Phan. xiii. 57.
Gartenflora 34: 245. 1885, illustrated;
Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society 15: 3. Oct. 1889;
Dykes, The Genus Iris, 1914 notes
Rootstock , a compact rhizome.
Leaves , deep green, distinctly ribbed ; those clothing the base of the stem are more or less falcate and not more than 8 in. long ; those of the non-flowering shoots are longer and more erect.
Stem, 1 5 in. or less, bearing a terminal head of 3 flowers and 2 or 3 side branches, set in bracts and bearing each 2 flowers. In weak specimens the stem is sometimes unbranched and bears only two flowers in the single terminal head.
Spathe valves , 1 - 1} in. long, the inner valve being usually longer than the outer; light green, glossy, sometimes slightly flushed with purple and membranous only at the extreme edge, inflated.
Pedicel , very short.
Ovary, f in. long, with six longitudinal grooves at equal intervals.
Tube, ! in.
Falls . The obovate blade passes gradually without any constriction into the wedge-shaped haft. The yellow-white ground is veined with conspicuous purple or black-purple veins. In some specimens these run together on the outer part of the blade, of which the extreme edge is, however, often quite pale. The beard is of close set yellow or orange hairs, sometimes tipped with brown.
Standards , rounded oblong with a short canaliculate haft, which together with the lower part of the blade is usually slightly veined with brown. The rest of the blade is bright yellow. c;:1.,7,,< narrow. vellow. keeled.
Filaments , longer than the anthers.
Anthers , cream.
Pollen8, cream.
, I in. long by I in. broad, with six grooves.
Seeds , small, greyish-brown, more or less pyriform.
This Iris is so distinct that it has not been described under any other name and it is probably the only Linnaean species of Iris to enjoy this distinction. In Pre-Linnaean literature this Iris may be traced back through the Hortus Cliffortianus' and C. Bauhin's Pinax to Clusius' History of Pannonian plants. Clusius there relates (p. 245, iv.I. varia caulifera) that he first found the plant growing near Stampfen, which is not far from Pressburg in Western Hungary. In its wild state this Iris is distinctly smaller than the common forms of I. germanica and varies slightly in colour. My specimen from Kladovo has light red brown veining on the falls and the green spathes are slightly flushed with purple. In another plant from Rokovica in Servia, the veining is of a dark black red and the spathes are quite green without any purple flush. The pale edge of the falls, which is noticeable in some wild specimens, becomes even more pronounced and conspicuous in some garden forms. For the numerous hybrids of this species, see p. 234. Cultivation is extremely easy and the plants are perfectly hardy as is always the case with those species which lose their leaves in autumn and remain dormant until spring.
On page 234 under IRIS HYBRIDS Dykes notes
"No mention has yet been made of what is undoubtedly by far the largest class of Iris hybrids, namely those plants which practically represent the genus in the eyes of many, and which are found in nearly every garden under the misleading title of German rises.
The parentage of these Irises still remains a mystery, although the evidence available tends to show that the vast majority, at any rate, have arisen as the result of many generations of crosses between two species, namely I. pallida and I. variegata. These grow in localities in the Tyrol and in Hungary, which do not preclude the possibility of their having been brought together in gardens and cross-fertilized either artificially or by insects in very early days. Other species such as I. aphylla and I. Cengialti, and the taller Asiatic Pogoniris have probably also been used from time to time, and have left clear traces. I. germanica has probably not had much influence, for it is certainly not so hardy either as I. pallida or as I. variegata, both of which are prepared for severe winter weather when they lose their leaves in autumn. I. germanica, on the other hand, begins to grow again in the autumn, and late spring frosts often prove fatal to the immature flower stems long before the latter emerge from the shelter of the leaves.
It is unfortunate that it has not yet been possible to prove the result of crossing I. variegata and I. pallida, chiefly because it was essential to begin with authentic wild plants. Now that these have been obtained, the cross has been made both ways, and before long we may hope to see the result. In the meanwhile, it was of interest to find that the result of crossing I. trojana with I. variegata was to produce a hybrid, which was remarkably like the so-called sambucina and squalens forms. The colour was a reddish purple, in which traces of yellow were quite apparent, especially in the smoky appearance of the standards. The beard was also bright orange, and the spathes had that half scarious and half green character, which we should a priori expect from the combination of two plants, one of which has wholly green spathes, and the other spathes that are partly scarious when the flowers expand
If it is thought that I. pallida and I. variegata will not provide all the characters found in the hybrid, the question arises, ” What other species can have been used?" Here we are met with the fact that no trace of any other species except those mentioned is to be found in herbarium collections, if we exclude the sambucina and squalens forms, whose origin we are trying to discover. Examples of these come only from long-cultivated and inhabited areas and moreover the plants are almost invariably sterile, under conditions in which I. pallida and I. variegata set seed fairly readily.
Other facts, which would tend to variability in the hybrids of these two species, are that I. variegata is apparently liable in the wild state to produce forms in which the yellow ground colour is replaced by white (see p. 169), while I. pallida has produced either under cultivation or in the wild state the plicata forms with flowers, which are wholly white except for the lavender or purple reticulations bordering the segments (see p. 167).
Another small point is connected with the pale edges, which surround the richly coloured falls of such hybrids as Black Prince, Iriskonig, and Darius. This seemed inexplicable until I found that among a large number of wild examples of I. variegata from Hungary which I have recently had the good fortune to see, a certain proportion have a distinctly pale, almost whitish edge. Thus no fresh species is required to account for this feature.
If no list of these garden hybrids is given, the reasons are that, with a few exceptions among the older and well-known varieties, every collection eems to have names of its own and that improvements are constantly being obtained."


Hungarian Iris, Pannonica variegata, iris lutea variegata.

Chromosome count

2n=24, Karihaloo, V. et al., 1993; 2n=24, Lovka, 1995


'Amoena', 'Aurea', 'Baxter'. 'Belgica', 'Cook's Broth', 'Cook's Variety', 'Davidowii', 'Innocenza', 'Lepida', 'Leucographa', 'Lurida', 'Mangaliae', Petit Lion', 'Pontica', 'Pouzdrany', 'Reginae', 'Rudskyi', 'Variegata Bulgarica', 'Variegata Major', 'Variegata Minor,' 'Variegata—Randolph's 61-72', 'Virescens',


'Afterglow', 'Amoena', 'Candlelight', 'Corygei', 'Dinar Mountains', 'Elsinore', 'Empire', 'Flavalba', 'Flavescens', 'Foster's Yellow'. 'Foursome'. 'High Jinks', 'Ib-Var', 'Iced Up', 'Katrinka', 'King Karl', 'Lady Di', 'Languedoc', 'Little Sissie', 'Lurida', 'Magyar Medley', 'Munite', 'Neglecta', 'Network', 'Palaurea', 'Parvar', 'Personality Kid', 'Pixavar', 'Redouteana', 'Rothchildii', 'Sambucina', 'Shelford Yellow', 'Shushan', 'Spring Thing', 'Squalens', 'Star Of Gold', 'Varibo'

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: The distribution of the species gives clues as to its cultural requirements, although plants in cultivation can often tolerate a wider range of variables:
The species is found in the following region: Cebtral & Southeastern Europe to Ukraine: and specifically in the following countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine. naturalized in Switzerland and Italy.
Cultivation: Flourishing in full sun, well drained, good garden soil. Appreciates a summer rest when it is allowed dryer conditions. during this semi-dormant time it can be divided and replanted with new root growth beginning with a modest watering.

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-02-09
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1753IrisVariegata01.JPGJPG 1753IrisVariegata01.JPG manage 104 K 18 Jun 2017 - 02:09 UnknownUser Photo by Daniel Boris,Iris Du Grand Barbu-France
Iris-variegataAlbaMathes.jpgjpg Iris-variegataAlbaMathes.jpg manage 30 K 04 Aug 2016 - 11:16 BobPries Harold Mathes photo white form
Iris-variegataBohmert.jpgjpg Iris-variegataBohmert.jpg manage 218 K 04 Aug 2016 - 11:17 BobPries Peter Bohnert photo
Iris-variegataBohmert2.jpgjpg Iris-variegataBohmert2.jpg manage 211 K 04 Aug 2016 - 11:18 BobPries Peter Bohnert photo
Iris-variegataBohnert3.jpgjpg Iris-variegataBohnert3.jpg manage 84 K 04 Aug 2016 - 11:18 BobPries Peter Bohnert photo
Iris-variegataMathes.jpgjpg Iris-variegataMathes.jpg manage 58 K 04 Aug 2016 - 11:19 BobPries Harald Mathes photo
IrisVariegatavarPontica9.JPGJPG IrisVariegatavarPontica9.JPG manage 101 K 14 Feb 2021 - 14:53 UnknownUser Photo by Mary Hess-Bluebird Haven Iris Garden
Variegata.JPGJPG Variegata.JPG manage 68 K 30 Jan 2011 - 16:35 IrisP  
variegata01.JPGJPG variegata01.JPG manage 816 K 06 Feb 2017 - 20:00 UnknownUser Photo scanned from the Glenn Corlew slide collection
variegata03.jpgjpg variegata03.jpg manage 365 K 19 Aug 2016 - 22:58 UnknownUser Photo scanned from the Bee Warburton slide collection
variegata07.JPGJPG variegata07.JPG manage 136 K 15 Jun 2020 - 15:53 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegata08.JPGJPG variegata08.JPG manage 160 K 15 Jun 2020 - 15:54 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegata09.JPGJPG variegata09.JPG manage 176 K 15 Jun 2020 - 15:54 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegata1.JPGJPG variegata1.JPG manage 882 K 02 Aug 2016 - 18:30 UnknownUser Photo by HIPS Archives
variegataBeardsley8.jpgjpg variegataBeardsley8.jpg manage 16 K 19 Apr 2010 - 19:32 Main.Betsy881 Photo by Jensen
variegata_redoute_292cropped.jpgjpg variegata_redoute_292cropped.jpg manage 121 K 11 Oct 2013 - 14:42 BobPries Biodiversty Heritage Library
variegata_sm.jpgjpg variegata_sm.jpg manage 56 K 11 Nov 2010 - 01:04 UnknownUser Curtis's Botanical Magazine table 16
variegatapontica01.JPGJPG variegatapontica01.JPG manage 147 K 15 Jun 2020 - 18:12 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica02.JPGJPG variegatapontica02.JPG manage 153 K 15 Jun 2020 - 18:13 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica03.JPGJPG variegatapontica03.JPG manage 148 K 15 Jun 2020 - 18:13 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica1.JPGJPG variegatapontica1.JPG manage 177 K 03 Jan 2022 - 03:57 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica10.JPGJPG variegatapontica10.JPG manage 173 K 03 Jan 2022 - 03:57 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica11.JPGJPG variegatapontica11.JPG manage 146 K 03 Jan 2022 - 03:57 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica12.JPGJPG variegatapontica12.JPG manage 153 K 03 Jan 2022 - 03:58 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegatapontica3.JPGJPG variegatapontica3.JPG manage 107 K 26 Mar 2019 - 14:45 UnknownUser Photo by Don McQueen-London,Ont.-Canada Zone 5
variegated06.JPGJPG variegated06.JPG manage 142 K 26 Jan 2022 - 20:46 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
variegated060.JPGJPG variegated060.JPG manage 144 K 26 Jan 2022 - 20:46 UnknownUser Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
varigeta5.JPGJPG varigeta5.JPG manage 169 K 24 Jan 2019 - 16:20 UnknownUser Photo scanned from the Nyla Hughes slide collection
Topic revision: r44 - 04 Aug 2022, TLaurin
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