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1876, Iris Aitchisonii, Iris Stocksii & Iris Aucheri

Gardeners' Chronicles p.723, June 3, 1876

A SYNOPSIS OF THE KNOWN SPECIES OF IRIS.— V.

15. X. Aitchisonii, Baker, in Trimen's Journ. 1875, p. 108. — Bulb ovoid-oblong, an inch thick, covered with copious dark brown membranous fibres. Root leaves 2—3, linear, grass-like, glabrous, as long as the stem, 1/8—1/6 in. broad, channelled down the face, strongly ribbed and narrowed to a point. Stems 1/2 — 1 foot, one or rarely two-flowered, furnished with two or three reduced leaves. Spathe valves two to each flower, green, but membranous at the flowering time, lanceolate, acute, 1 1/2 —2 inches long. Ovary sessile, cylindrical, 3/4 inch long; tube cylindrical, an inch long; limb 1 1/2—2 inches deep, bright lilac purple ; falls oblong, with a distinct claw, 1/2— 3/4 inch broad, with a bright yellow hairless line down the throat; inner segments about half an inch long, oblanceolatc, with a long claw, spreading horizontally. Anthers ligulate, yellow, half an inch long, equalling the filaments. Stigmas, including the crests, as long as the falls.

Abundant on Mount Tilla, in the Jhelum district of the Punjaub, where it was discovered by Dr. Aitchison in 1874, flowering at the end of March. This is decidedly the most interesting discovery that has been made amongst the Irids of late years. In the cultivated species it is most like X. filifolium in general habit and the size and colour of the flower, but with the structure of this present section. Dr. Aitchison has already taken pains to procure for cultivation his two previous bulb discoveries, Colchicum luteum and Merendera Aitchisoni, both of which have been figured in the Botanical Magazine, so that this may be expected as a garden plant before long. A yellow-flowered variety of the same plant is in the Kew herbarium from Griffith, gathered in the neighbourhood of Otipore, bearing; ihe same relation to the type that X. lusitanicum bears to X. vulgare.

16. X. Stocksii, Baker. — Bulb above an inch thick, with . I tuft of fleshy cylindrical basal fibres and copious brown membranous coats, produced up its neck. Stem not more than 2 or 3 inches high, bearing 3—5 falcate leaves, and I — 3 one-flowered spathes. Leaves lanceolate, superposed, clasping the stem at the base, where they are 1/2 — 3/4 inch broad, half a foot long, firm in texture, narrowed gradually to a long point, distinctly ribbed and furnished with a distinct pale horny border. Spathes ventricose, 2 inches long, formed of two greenish acute lanceolate valves. Ovary sessile in the spathe; tube 1 1/2 inch long, not exserted from the spathe; limb pale yellow, 1 1/2 inch deep; falls obovate, with a broad cuneate claw twice as long as the reflexing limb; inner segments oblanceolate, unguiculate, 1/2 inch long, spreading horizontally, with a long claw, and a small rhomboid-cuspidate blade. Anthers 1/2 inch long, equalling the filaments. Capsule narrow oblong, 15-13 lines long, clasped tightly by the relics of the spathe.

A native of dry shingly hills on the borders of Afghanistan and Beloochislan, particularly the Chebel Tun, near Quettah, where it grows at an elevation of from 5000 to 10,000 feet, and was gathered by Stocks and Griffith. It comes very near X. caucasicum, but has a short produced stem and longer leaves, spathe-valves and capsules. It has never been introduced into cultivation. Dr. Stocks' specimens, in most of which the tlowers are faded, were gathered in May.

17. X. Aucheri, Baker, in Seem. Journ. 1871, p. 110; Iris fumosa, Boiss. and Hauss. in Hauss. PI. Syr. Exsic.

— Bulb ovoid, with long neck, 1 1/2 inch thick, with copious dark brown membranous coats, and a tuft of fleshy cylindrical basal fibres. Stem reaching half a foot high, bearing 6—10 close leaves, and three or four one-flowered spathes. Leaves lanceolate falcate, thinner in texture than in the last, and without the distinct pale border, 1 — 1 1/4 inch broad at the base, 5 — 6 inches long at the flowering time, narrowed gradually from the middle to the point. Spathe-valves membranous, lanceolate, acute, 3 inches long, ovary sessile. Tube 2 — 2 1/2 inches long ; limb pale yellow, 1 1/2 inch deep, the rounded lamina of the falls shorter than the obtuse claw, the inner segments as in caucasicum and Aucheri. Anthers 1/2 inch long, pale yellow, equalling the filaments. Capsules 2 1/2 inches long, oblong-cylindrical, the acute valves not more than 1/4 inch broad.

A native of the neighbourhood of Aleppo, where I have seen specimens gathered by Aucher-Eloy, Kotschy, and Haussknecht. This also is closely allied to X. caucasicum. From X. Stocksii it differs mainly in its more numerous broader leaves and longer capsules and spathe-valves. There is a specimen in the Kew herbarium of a closely allied plant, gathered by Professor Haussknecht in 1867 in the desert of Kotuh-hassar, with a single terminal flower and narrower leaves, the lowest of which reach a foot in length, which will probably prove a new species.

This concludes the series of the bulbous Irises, and I shall next pass forward to the rhizomatose groups.
J.. G. Baker.

For more information on historic Irises visit the Historic Iris Preservation Society at

-- BobPries - 2015-01-14
Topic revision: r2 - 15 Dec 2018, BobPries
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