| Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, t. 645-692, vol. 18: t. 685 (1803) [S.T. Edwards] It had been always a matter of surprise to us that so apparently distinct: a species as the present, is well known to all former Botanists, and so long cultivated in all the gardens of Europe, would have escaped the notice of Linnaeus, while he distinguished as species his supposed sambucina squalens, to appearance scarcely worthy of being remarked as varieties; until upon critically reviewing the whole of his species, we found that the squalens had been mistaken by Jacquin for the sambucina, that other Botanists had confidentially followed him in the error, and that the present plant was the Linnean Sambucina; but as this name is now ls generally attached to Jacquin's plant by the excellent figure of Curtis and the authority of the Hortus Kewensis, we think it more advisable to let it remain; adopting Lamarck's for the present species, and expunging squalens, as being a mere variety of the now sambucina; although in truth the names of Linnaeus were still better adapted to the plants he had desttned them for. The synonym of Jacquin quoted by the authors of Hort. Kew. for their squalens should be restored to Iris variegata.Root horizontal, fleshy, very thick. Leaves broad, sword-shaped, covered with a whitish bloom, that gives them a remarkable pale or glaucous appearance. Stem about three feet high, twice the length of the leaves, with several short branches supported by bractes resembling the 1 — 2 flowered involucres, which are membranous, scariose, from a lightish brown inclining to white, not becoming sphacelate, but being so from their first appearance, equal to germen ; pedicles thick, trigonal, but little shorter than germen, which is trigonal-oblong, six-sulcate, equal to the obtusely trigonal tubes, which last are marked with fix flat furrows ; segments equal, ungues close, campanulately patent (not turbinate and remote as in Iris germanica and florentina); outer ones twice the length of the tube, broad, concave inwards, traversed by a fillet of white cilia with deep yellow tips; outer ones shorter and several times narrower, convolute ; outer laminae recurvedly deflected, twice longer than their ungues, round-obovate, entire, flat, pale blue, suffused with a purpllsh tint; veins deep blue, inner ones oblong-obovate, retuse, hence having something of an obcordate shape, sometimes with a small mucro in the sinus, erea, connivent and rather more blue; stigmas upright-patent, linear oblong, extending as far as the beard, whitish with a blue keel; sides but (lightly reflexed ; segments of the inner lip recurved-erect (not revolute), divaricate, laciniate-serrulate ; outer lip very blunt, entire. Flowers 8— 12, expanding in June, with an exceeding strong scent resembling that of Elder- Flowers.
| Dykes, The Genus Iris 167. 1913,Description. Rootstock , a stout rhizome. Leaves , 12-24 in. by 1½ in., of a very glaucous grey-green, ensiform. Stem , 2-3 ft. high, bearing several short lateral branches, each set in a sheathing scarious bract, except in the case of the lowest. Here the bract-like leaf is green and sometimes 6 in. long (cf. Fig. 22). Spathe valves , short, entirely scarious, even before the buds open, silvery-white, 2-3 flowered. Pedicel , very short. Ovary , short, with six grooves at equal intervals. Tube , about ½ in., equal in length to the ovary. Falls . Obovate, with a wedge-shaped haft, of a pale mauve purple colour, except on the haft, which bears veins of a deeper brown purple colour on a paler ground. The thick beard is in front white tipped with yellow and behind of a deeper orange colour. Standards . Obovate with a short channelled haft, of a slightly paler shade of mauve purple than the falls ; the haft is slightly veined with brown purple. Styles , broad, keeled, pale at the edges and more deeply coloured along the centre. Crests , small, triangular. Stigma , broad, entire. Filaments , pale mauve, much longer than the anthers. Anthers , small, cream. Pollen , cream. Capsule , oblong, trigonal; a form of I. pallida from Monte Brione near Riva' has a short, broad, six-ribbed capsule, but I believe that this plant is a hybrid of I. pallida and I. Cengialtii. Seeds , dark red brown, compressed, angular, irregularly cubical.Observations.If this Iris is really, as appears to be the case, a native of the valleys of southern Tirol, it is at least curious that there is no definite trace of it in botanical literature before 1789. It is possible that the Iris latifolia major I llyrica of the Hortus Eystettensis, Plant. Vern. Ordo vm, Fol. 1v, No. 3, and of C. Bauhin's Pinax, p. 31, which was described as being "coloris dilute coerulei pallescentis" and as having a somewhat stouter rhizome than I. florentina, may be identified as I. pallida and in that case it is difficult to see why Linnaeus omitted it from his list of Iris species.No one who had ever seen /. pallida develop its inflorescence could fail to separate it from I, germanica, for it is distinguished at once by its silvery-white scarious spathes, even when the plant is only in bud, by the very short tube, by the very glaucous leaves, which do not grow to any extent during the winter as do those of I. germanica, and by the broad spreading character of the falls of the flowers. The stem attains a height of about three feet and bears a more complicated inflorescence than that of I. germanica (cf. Fig. 22, p. 167, and Fig. 21, p. 163). It is not entirely erect, for the internodes tend to zigzag slightly. The bracts, which sheathe the bases of the lateral branches, are all as scarious as the spathes except that which clothes the lowest branch, which remains green.The finest form of I. pallida is that which is known in gardens as dalmatica', though its native locality has never apparently been exactly determined. The foliage of this is broader than that of the type, being often 2 in. wide or even wider, and very glaucous. The stem is rather shorter than that of the type but is thicker, and the flowers, which are supported on shorter lateral stems, are of a lilac shade of purple and have considerable substance. The tendency of the falls to spread rather than to droop is very marked, I. pallida is separated by another character from I. germanica, namely, by its compressed angular seeds, a feature which also distinguishes it from I. Cengialti; in the latter the seeds are globose or pyriform and of a greyish colour, instead of irregularly cubical and red brown.I, plicata, which is to all intents a pallida except in colour (cf. I. Swertii', which stands in the same relation to I, Cengialti), is probably either an approximately albino form or a hybrid of I. pallida in which some factor or combination of factors succeeds in suppressing the purple colour except for the veins on the edges of the standards and falls. Plants of this type, of which " Mme Chereau" is perhaps the best known example, are common in gardens and the amount and exact shade of the veining vary considerably.Another form of I. pallida has the foliage variegated with broad bands of yellow, a feature which to most observers will probably appear more striking than beautiful.Several forms of I. pallida have been described as growing wild in Sicily, but their behaviour in winter hardly suggests that they are natives of a country with so genial a winter climate that the undoubtedly native I. pseudopumila can grow rapidly with the advent of the autumn rains and retain its foliage throughout the winter. It is, of course, possible that the forms in question were originally introduced from Northern Italy and that they have become naturalised in Sicily in the course of ages, and moreover they appear for the most part to be of hybrid origin.