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(SPEC) Iris aschersonii Fos.

1902, Sir Michael Foster

_Iris aschersonii_ M. Foster. (Max Leichtlin, before 1902-Sintensis); Section Limniris, Series Syriacae; Flowers greenish yellow, F. lined with thin veins and linear blackish dots; Foster gives the following note in The Garden 61: 288. 3 May 1902; "I have received from Mr. Siehe, of Messina, a dried plant and the accompanying photographs of a new Iris, I. Aschersoni. I do not know the authority for the name, and indeed am unaware whether the plant has yet been described or no. It cannot be spoken of as a strikingly handsome Iris, since the colour seems to be a greenish yellow with thin purple veins; but, judging by the photograph, it is very floriferous, and so will perhaps prove a useful addition to the garden.
It is interesting, as being closely allied to the strange I. Grant-Duffi. That Iris is very remarkable for the way in which each bud shooting off from a woody rootstock becomes wrapped round with coats, the bases of old leaves, composed of stiff bristles, so that the dormant bud has in autumn the aspect of a bulb with bristling coats. The dormant bud in I. Aschersoni has much the same features, except that the coats are netted and flexible; in I. Grant-Duffi the bristles are so stiff and stout that they readily pierce the finger. The leaves of I. Aschersoni are much narrower than those of I. Grant-Duffi, almost linear; but the two plants are obviously closely allied. It will probably need the same treatment as I. Grant-Duffi, namely, to be well dried off and ripened in the summer, though well supplied with water when growing in the spring.
I. Grant-Duffi comes from the west of Palestine, but this new I. Aschersoni was gathered in Cilicia near Adana; and there are probably in Asia Minor and Syria yet other plants of the same group. I have, for example, a third plant which my friend Max Leichtlin gave me some years ago under the name I. Masiae; it came, I believe, from Asia Minor. It closely resembles the above two, but has deep purple flowers, and is really a handsome plant, though a shy bloomer and a "miffy doer," to use a gardening phrase."

References: Revue Horticole 24: 248. 1 June 1902; Krel. 1906; Wal. 1906; Barr 1910; Revue Horticole 109: 18, 536- 537. 16 June 1937, illustrated; B.C., R.H.S. 1934; Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 59: 4, clxxx. Oct. 1934;

Synonyms; This was really introduced by Leichtlin* as Iris mosaic and Foster probably received his bulbs from Siehe; Iris grant duffii var aitchisonii; Grant-Duffi var Aschersoni Fos.; Iris mosaic Leicht. Iris aschersoni Dykes. *Max Leichtlin (1831-1910), famous gardener and author, nursery of rare plants particularly rock-garden and Alpines. Founded a botanical garden at Baden-Baden, Germany, and was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal. (1939 AIS Check List)

Chromosome counts: 2n=24-Simonet 1952.

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-02-25
Topic revision: r6 - 19 Jan 2016, Harloiris
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