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■ (SPEC) Iris bakeriana Foster.

1889, Botanical author Sir Michael Foster Iris bakeriana Foster ( Sir Michael Foster, 1889, Mardin); Section hermodactyloides; Reticulata Group-B3D; See below: ----


Foster in Curtis's Botanical Magazine tab. 7084. 1889,gives the following description along with a color illustration; "This beautiful new species is a native of Armenia, and for its discovery we are indebted to the Rev. G. F. Gates, of the American Mission. It flowers in February and March, and some, if not all the blooms are strongly and delightfully fragrant, with the odour of violets. It comes very near I. reticulata, but the cylindrical, not tetragonal, leaves clearly differentiate it as a distinct species. As minor differences may be noted the absence of any marked crest or ridge on the fall, the more ovate and more pointed blade of the fall, the more ovate and more pointed blade of the fall and the flange at its base. The coloration, though approached by that of the variety of reticulata known as cyanea, is very distinct. I am convinced that when it becomes well known it will prove a great favorite. This and the fact of morphological interest, that though so closely allied to reticulata, it differs in not possessing what we were led to regard as a fundamental character of reticulata, the tetragonal leaves, have led me to name it after one who has done so much to advance our knowledge of Iris, my friend, Mr. J. G. Baker. The drawing was made from plants that flowered at Shelford in February and March.

*Descr.* Bulb small, ovoid, the outer coats formed of strong parallel fibers connected by short oblique meshes. Leaves three or four to a bulb, subulate, hollow, furnished with eight conspicuous ridges in long spirals, glaucous green, a fifth of an inch in diameter, six or nine inches long at the flowering time, finally a foot or more long, furnished as in I. reticulata with a horny tip, and the whole invested at the base with a membranous sheath. Flower single, with only a short peduncle buried during flowering but subsequently raising the ripe capsule to the surface of the soil; spathe cylindrical; valves unequal, lanceolate, greenish by reason of their conspicuous green veins. Perianth-tube about three inches long, exserted a little from the spathe. (Falls) Outer segments with a long obovate-elliptical claw, separated by a constriction from the small reflexed ovate blade. The blade is in the upper half and on its edges an intense pure violet in the lower part is marked with small violet spots on a cream-white ground, and is furnished with an inconspicuous yellow streak not raised into a ridge; the latter is prolonged down the claw; this latter is marked by oblique parallel lilac streaks on a pale ground. (Standards)Inner segments rather shorter, erect, oblanceolate, plain lilac. Style-branches an inch long; crests large, suquadrate, lilac. Anthers violet, equal in length to the filaments; pollen yellow."
Iris Bakeriana and I. danfordiae as Bornmuelleri in The Garden p. 462-64, 1890
For more about Reticulata Irises see Alan McMurtrie's website
Barr 1898; Krelage 1890; 1932; Van Tubergen 1900; 1909; 1911;
Wallace 1900; 1927; (Wallace had it in 1897); Grull. 1907; Van Waverin 1912;
Dykes, The Genus Iris 222. tab 45. 1913,

Rootstock , an ovate bulb with greyish-white, netted coats as in I. reticulata but somewhat more slender.
Leaves , usually two from each bulb, 4-6 inches long at flowering time and finally a foot or more in length, hollow, cylindrical, with 8 ribs, of a glaucous bluish green, with a white horny tip as in I. reticulata.
Stem , very short if any.
Spathe valves , narrowly lanceolate, membranous, greenish by reason of the conspicuous green veins on a whitish ground.
Pedicel , very short at first, but afterwards growing and bringing the ripe capsule to the surface.
Ovary , cylindrical.
Tube , 3-6 in. long, rising 1-1½ in. above the spathes, with 8 deep violet lines in the upper part.
Falls . The oblong-elliptical haft is separated by a slight constriction from the small, sharply reflexed ovate blade. The latter is of an intense violet at the tip and round the circumference, the central space being white with small deep violet spots. Along the upper part of the haft runs an inconspicuous pale yellow streak, hardly raised into a ridge and becoming white on the blade. The sides of the haft bear oblique parallel lilac veins on a pale whitish ground, which is dotted with violet down the centre.
Standards , erect, oblanceolate, of a uniform deep lilac colour.
Styles , slightly narrower than, and as long as, the haft of the falls, keeled, of a bluish purple colour.
Crests , large, almost quadrate with a finely serrated outer edge.
Stigma , bilobed.
Filaments , pale violet, rather longer than the anthers.
Anthers , blue with deep violet edges.
Pollen , golden yellow, of the characteristic reticulata shape, one segment of the exine being, however, noticeably smaller than the other.
Capsule , rounded trigonal, tapering at either end, with creamy white, papery walls, about an inch long.
Seeds , of the reticulata type but somewhat small.
Fragrance . Some flowers are strongly violet-scented, others much less ; or it may be that warmth is required to bring out the fragrance.

This beautiful little species is interesting as being separated by one distinct feature from all the other members of the reticulata group, namely by the structure of the leaves, which are octagonal in section. Its habit of growth, its flowers, pollen, seeds and netted bulb closely resemble those of I. reticulata but its eight-ribbed leaves are unlike those of any other known species. Among seedlings of this Iris slight variations in colouring are found, in the arrangement that is of the violet markings on the white ground, not in the actual shade of colour. Moreover, similar, though slight, variations are found in offsets from the same bulb, an undoubted instance of variation in plants produced by vegetative, as opposed to sexual, increase.

I. Bakeriana is perfectly hardy but, as it usually flowers during the most inclement weather of the year, in January and February, it is worthy of a sheltered position. If it can be given the protection of a temporary glass roof, when in bloom, the flowers will last a fortnight and defy many degrees of frost. Bulbs that are doing well may be left undisturbed for two or three years, for this species is not one of those that form a large number of small offsets round the base of the large bulb. A bulb that has flowered usually splits into two or three, one or two of which will flower in the following season. For further notes on soil and cultivation, see the introduction to the Reticulata Section.

Hybrids. No certain hybrids of this species appear to be known but a few years ago the late Max Leichtlin sent me a bulb with the name of I. Bakeriana var. melaint1, with a note to the effect that he had raised it from seed. It closely resembles the type, except that the spathes rise to the top of the tube, and that the deep violet edging covers a larger portion of the blade of the falls. There is however one marked difference, namely in the leaves, which suggests the possibility that the plant is a hybrid of I. Bakeriana crossed with pollen of I. reticulata. The leaves instead of being octagonal, as in the type, have six ribs, set at irregular intervals as in I. reticulata.
See the introductory notes on the reticulata section see reference at (Subgenus Hermodactyloides )
F.C.C., R.H.S. 1897 shown by Wallace; Hort. Dir. 39: 53. 1898;


Baker Iris. ----

Chromosome Number

Chromosome number: 2n=20, Johnson & Brandham, 1997. ----


Cultivars of Iris bakeriana_



Iris bakeriana crosses ----

Distribution & Cultivation


Culture of Reticulata Group Irises

Quick Summary of Cultural Directions

Hardiness Zones 4-8 for most varieties, Some cultivars tolerate colder, others tolerate warmer zones (please comment in comment box with your location if this cultivar grows well in zone 3, 4, 9, or 10.)
Exposure Prefers full sun for optimal performance, may still bloom in half-day shade
Water: Prefers well drained good garden soil, Tolerant of dry conditions in established plants, Intolerant of swampy conditions.
PH Prefers Neutral to basic solis 6.1 to 8.5, quite toleranr of more extreme conditions
Fertilizer Prefers rich conditions on relatively inorganic soils.

-- BobPries - 2011-03-07

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-- BobPries - 2009-11-08
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Bakeriana_Bot_Mag_7084.jpgjpg Bakeriana_Bot_Mag_7084.jpg manage 54 K 22 Jan 2014 - 14:50 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
Iris-bakeriana-11.jpgjpg Iris-bakeriana-11.jpg manage 198 K 21 Jan 2015 - 13:18 BobPries Sean Zera photo
Iris-reticulata-201.jpgjpg Iris-reticulata-201.jpg manage 72 K 21 Jan 2015 - 15:11 BobPries Todd Boland photo
Iris_bakeriana_KWW_1.jpgjpg Iris_bakeriana_KWW_1.jpg manage 65 K 30 Jan 2015 - 05:52 Main.KWalker Photo by Ken Walker
bakeriana01.jpgjpg bakeriana01.jpg manage 68 K 31 Oct 2014 - 20:44 TerryLaurin Photo by Kirsten
bakeriana_Keleaidis_2.jpgjpg bakeriana_Keleaidis_2.jpg manage 399 K 21 Feb 2014 - 21:31 BobPries Panayoti Kelaidis
purple_gem_in_pot.jpgjpg purple_gem_in_pot.jpg manage 246 K 21 Feb 2014 - 21:37 BobPries Courtesy KAVB
Topic revision: r19 - 26 Dec 2021, Harloiris
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