■ (SPEC) Iris spuria subspecies halophila
'Halophila' (Peter Simon Pallas
, 1773, West to Northcentral Asia). Spur; 36" (90 cm), BL; Light blue self. Reise 3; 713. tab. n. fig. 2. 1773; "being three feet or more high and the leaves sometimes four; these yield the same offensive smell, when bruised, as those of spuria; they are very smooth, even striated and linear." 2n=44. Dickerson 1794. [Considered as Iris spuria L. subspecies halophila Pallas in Mathew's, The Iris].
| Pallas, in Reise 3; 713. tab. n. fig. 2. 1773;
| Dickerson 1794
| Dykes, in The Genus Iris, 1913 wrote "Halophila is distinguished from the western forms of I. spuria by its relatively shorter stem, by the very narrow segments and by the small, horizontal blade of the fall. The colour of the flowers is variable and may be either white, veined with yellow, a dull yellow or some shade of grey-purple. Some of the white flowered specimens are desirable but the others are hardly worth growing as garden plants.There is no doubt that forms of this Iris are widely distributed in Central Asia between Persia, Turkestan and the North West Frontier of India. (Cf. Aitchison's specimens (BM) from Shalizan in the Kurrum Valley, which had white flowers with "a slightly primrose yellow tinge.")Bunge's name I. sogdiana is of little importance because he relies only on colour and on the shape of the pedicels to separate his plants from typical halophila. Mere colour, however, can scarcely form the basis of a species and pedicels both round and triangular in section are often found on the same plant.Ker's I. desertorum *Bot. Mag. t. 1514 is merely a lavender form of this Iris and the name is presumably taken from the manuscript name on one of Pallas' specimens (BM).This Iris is one of the most vigorous of all the forms of I. spuria. The plants quickly grow into close masses of foliage from which emerge numerous stems. The individual flowers are small but they are produced so freely that the whole effect is ornamental. Cultivation is extremely easy, for the plants seem to succeed in any soil. Moreover, the flowers are self-fertilised and seed is produced in abundance.It germinates readily and halophila is one of the greatest offenders in Botanical Gardens, where its vigorous self-sown seedlings oust the original occupants of the beds and then in their turn provide seeds which are distributed under the names of the plants whose positions they have occupied.
| Gawler in Curtis's Botanical Magazine 22: tab. 875. 1805, gives the following note; "We confess that we are unable at present to detect any other distinctions between this and Iris spuria than that it is altogether a much larger plant and possesses considerably more rigidity both in leaves and stem than that; to which mat be added a far greater elongation of the outer valve of the spathe; yet there is a difference in their general appearance, though not easily expressed, that makes it difficult for us to consider them as mere varieties of each other; besides that their habitats are widely distant, this being a native of the salt marshy spots of Siberia, the other of the moist meadows of Germany."
"Our species is among the tallest of the genus, the stem being three feet or more high and the leaves sometimes four; these yield the same offensive smell, when bruised, as those of spuria; they are very smooth, even striated and linear."
"None of its characters have as yet varied by culture, though introduced into our gardens as far back as 1780, by Dr. Peter Pallas. Is not very common in our collections, though of as easy culture and as hardy as any of the genus. Approaches venticosa, but that is shorter with a leafless stem and more inflated spathe": with color illustration.
| Tougard 1839;
Iris halophila, Ker-Gawl; Iris halophila . Pallas; Iris guldenstaedtiana Lepechin; Iris desertorum Ker; Iris musulmanica Fomin; Iris sogdiana Bunge; Iris stenogyna Delar.; Iris spuria var. halophila. Considered as Iris spuria subspecies halophila in Mathew's, The Iris.
2n=44, 66, Lenz & Day, 1963; 2n=20, Lungeanu, 1970.
'Halophila Lutea'. (Samuel Stillman Berry, 1932). Spur; Y4L
, Light yellow self; Berry 1932; synonym Iris halophila, Pall. var. lutescens. [Iris spuria L. subspecies halophila Pallas].
No hybrids have been named with I. halophile as a parent
Distribution and Cultivation
| Distribution: Region:
| Cultivation: Full sun, .
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