1901, Iris Willmottiana

The Gardeners' Chronicles, p.261 April 27, 1901

Foster offers the following note;
  • "I have received from Messrs. Van Tubergen of Haarlem, Holland, a charming ittle Iris, which seems to me to be, for the garden, at least distinctly a new one. The habit is that of I. caucasica, and this it resembles in the size, shape, arrangement, horny margin of the leaves; the surface of the leaf is perhaps, more glistening, devoid of the glaucous sheen, but otherwise I can see no marked difference between the two. The flowers, four to six on the scape, as in I. caucasica, are, as in it, sessile. The color of the flower is, however, wholly different instead of being yellow, it is lavender, or some similar tint of diluted purple, with blotch-white, mingled with dark marks of a deeper lavender blade of the fall. The general form of - flower is that of I. caucasica, and one might - tempted to regard it as a blue (or purple) form of I. caucasica. But there are differences besides those of color. Not only is the flower rather smaller than that of I. caucasica, but also the lateral expansions of the claw of the fall are less marked than in I. caucasica, and are not transparent; in this respect the new plant approximates I. orchioides, and indeed it stands somewhat midway between that and I. caucasica. the spathe valves, again, are not inflated, as in I. caucasica, but narrow, as in I. orchioides. The crests of the style, too, are triangular and small, - quadrate and large, as in I. caucasica. On these grounds, especially in view of the present condition of views as to what a species is, I think this new Iris fairly deserves to be given a specific name; and I venture to suggest the name Iris Willmottiana, in recognition of the gardening services of a well-known lady.
    It was found growing in 1899 by the collector of Messrs. Van Tubergen, on the mountains of Eastern Turkestan, occurring at a considerable height- Sir Michael Foster
For more information on historic Irises visit the Historic Iris Preservation Society at

-- BobPries - 2015-01-14
Topic revision: r1 - 14 Jan 2015, BobPries
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