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■ (SPEC) Iris bloudowii Ledbour

1830, Botanical author Ledbour

Iris bloudowii Bunge ( Alexander von Bunge, 1883, Turkestan); Section Psammiris, MB; Yellow; Height 6-14" (15-35 cm); 2-3 yellow flowers stained purple or brownish on lower part of segments; beards yellow. The unbranched stem, up to fourteen inches, rises elegantly above the foliage. The flower spathes are ventricose, Keeled and pointed, with brown veining and sometimes flushing. Within the spathes will be 2 to 3 flowers rising on pedicels 0.5-2 cm long and funnel-shaped floral tubes that add an additional 1-1.5 cm in length. The ovaries are said to have 6 purple stripes. The bright yellow flowers are about 2" (5.5 cm) in diameter, the falls with purple brown veins at the haft, the smaller standards are a brighter shade of yellow. This species has been confused with Iris humilis and prefers sandy soils like humilis. It is said to occur on the edge of woods and alpine meadows but prefers full sun in cultivation. From Siberia, Tien Shan Mountains, Mongolia, and China it should be very cold hardy but prefers dry winter conditions.

See below:
BloudowiiGart.jpgBloudowiiLed.jpgIris-bloudowii-1.jpgIris-bloudowii-5.jpgIris-bloudowiiMathes.jpgIris-bloudowiiPirogov1.jpgIris-bloudowiiPirogov2.jpgPen and ink Bloudowii.jpg


Ledebour, C.F. von, Icones plantarum novarum, vol. 2: t. 101 (1830)
Ledebour in Flora Altaica, 4: 331. 1883;
Ware 1883; Van T. 1900; 1911;
Gartenflora 29: tab. 1020. 1880,
Dykes in The Genus Iris, 1913;Description (taken from notes and sketches in Foster's MSS. of a plant received from Dr Regel and from unflowered plants in my garden).Rootstock , a somewhat slender compact rhizome, with crowded growths. Leaves , when they first shoot, are dark green, tipped with blackish or purple brown, 4 or 5 to a tuft, 6-8 in. long by ½ in. broad, yellowish green, striated at the base only. Stem , 4-6 in., usually bearing leaves only at the base, 2-3-flowered. Spathe valves , ventricose, keeled, pointed, flushed with dark reddish brown, with brown network of veins; the outer valve ends in a sharp curved beak. Pedicels , ½-3/4 in. long, bright green. Ovary , green with six purple stripes. Tube , short, brownish. Falls . Wedge-shaped with a rounded upper end. The bright yellow blade is held horizontally and the haft is veined with purple brown on a yellow ground. The yellow beard of relatively large hairs extends far over the blade beyond the short styles. 2 in. by 1 in. [N. B. Ledebour's original description gives the length of the hairs of the beard as at least twice as long as those of I. flavissima.] Standards , oblong unguiculate, much smaller than the falls, of an even brighter yellow than the falls. Styles , narrow. Crests , narrow, oblong or quadrate with dentate edge. Stigma , entire, rounded. Filaments , short. Anthers , large. Pollen , Capsule , 2 in. long, trigonal, narrowing at either end and dehiscing below the top like those of the Regelia section. Seeds , pyriform, brown, wrinkled with distinct whitish aril, only differing in size from those of I. flavissima.Observations.In the dried state, as herbarium specimens, It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to separate satisfactorily I. Bloudowii from I. flavissima (see also p. 137). Ledebour's statement that in I. Bloudowii the pedicels of the two flowers are of equal length, while in I. flavissima that of the second flower is distinctly the longer is not borne out by the available specimens. Moreover, it is hardly ever possible to ascertain from dried material the exact shape of the segments and with regard to the shape of the spathe valves and to the prominence of the veining on them, the examination of a large number of specimens shows that there are many intermediate forms connecting the typically narrow and slightly veined spathes of I. flavissima with the broader, more navicular and more conspicuously veined valves of I. Bloudowii.Another difficulty, with which we have to contend, is that it seems to be particularly difficult to cultivate I. Bloudowii successfully or at any rate to induce it to flower. The description given is taken from the account of a plant that once flowered with Foster, but my own experience has been that it has remained flowerless year after year though I have given it different soil and positions. However, the growth of the plant is so different from that of I. flavissima that it seems best to keep up the distinction between the two species. The leaves are larger and more distinctly striated and are remarkable for their deeply coloured tips while they are still quite short in early spring. The deep colour is a mark of affinity to the Regelia group, for the young shoots of I. Korolkowi and I. stolonifera are also deeply coloured. The colour disappears, however, when the leaves have grown to 2 or 3 inches in length and does not persist at their base as in the case of the Regelia species.
Flora Of China gives"Iris bloudowii Ledebour, Icon. Fl. Ross. 2: 5. 1830. 中亚鸢尾 zhong ya yuan weiIris flavissima Pallas var. bloudowii (Ledebour) Baker; I. flavissima var. umbrosa Bunge.Rhizomes not widely creeping, thick. Roots thick. Leaves grayish green, sword-shaped, slightly curved, 8--12 cm × 4--8 mm at anthesis, 15--25 × 0.8--1.2 cm in fruit, midvein absent, veins 5 or 6, apex shortly acuminate. Flowering stems 8--10(--30) cm, base with erect, slender, sheathlike leaves persisting as fibers; spathes 2 or 3, with some reddish color, oblong-lanceolate, ca. 4 × 1.6--2 cm, 2-flowered, apex obtuse. Flowers bright yellow, 5--5.5 cm in diam.; pedicel 6--10 mm. Perianth tube 1--1.5 cm; outer segments obovate, ca. 4 × 2 cm, beard yellow; inner segments erect, oblanceolate, 3--4.5 × 1--1.2 cm. Stamens 1.8--2.2 cm. Ovary ca. 1.5 cm. Style branches bright yellow, ca. 2.5 cm. Capsule narrowly ovoid, apex acute, obscurely beaked. Seeds dark brown, ellipsoid, ca. 5 × 3 mm, with white aril. Fl. May, fr. Jun--Aug.Grasslands at forest margins, sunny dunes. Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia].


. Turkestan Iris; Iris flavissima Pall. var. umbrosa, Bunge in Ledeb.; Iris flavissima var. Bloudowii, Baker. ----

Chromosome counts:

2n=22 (Simonet 1934), 2n=22 (Randolph 1947), 2n=26 (Simonet 1952), 2n=26 (Doronkin 1984). ----


Iris bloudowii_ has the following cultivars: 'Bloudowii Rupestris', 'Bloudowii Turkestanica' ----


Rarely grown and used in hybridizing. Its cross with Iris lutescens ( 'Promise') was a very popular Dwarf bearded Iris. The children also show the characteristic corkscrew of the fading flowers as do other Psammirises.

Iris bloudowii crosses: 'Promise', 'Six Bits', 'Ugrinskyana' ----

Distribution & Cultivation

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-01-07
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
BloudowiiGart.jpgjpg BloudowiiGart.jpg manage 136 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:16 BobPries Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library
BloudowiiLed.jpgjpg BloudowiiLed.jpg manage 88 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:07 BobPries Courtesy Biodiversity Heritage Library
Iris-bloudowii-1.jpgjpg Iris-bloudowii-1.jpg manage 37 K 29 Sep 2010 - 17:13 UnknownUser Bloudowii seeds
Iris-bloudowii-5.jpgjpg Iris-bloudowii-5.jpg manage 196 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:27 BobPries  
Iris-bloudowiiMathes.jpgjpg Iris-bloudowiiMathes.jpg manage 100 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:25 BobPries Harald Mathes photo
Iris-bloudowiiPirogov1.jpgjpg Iris-bloudowiiPirogov1.jpg manage 71 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:31 BobPries Yuri Pirogov photo
Iris-bloudowiiPirogov2.jpgjpg Iris-bloudowiiPirogov2.jpg manage 86 K 15 Jul 2016 - 15:31 BobPries Yuri Pirogov photo
Pen_and_ink_Bloudowii.jpgjpg Pen_and_ink_Bloudowii.jpg manage 28 K 07 Jan 2010 - 19:58 UnknownUser Drawn from Gartenflora plate by Bob Pries
Topic revision: r10 - 20 Oct 2020, WayneMesser
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