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■ (SPEC) Iris germanica L.

1753, botanical author Linneaus

Iris germanica L. (Carolus Linnaeus, 1753); Section Iris . TB; Early bloom; Color Class-B1M; Medium blue self;

See below:

Photo by Daniel Boris,Iris Du Grand Barbu-FranceIris germanica FrontIris germanicaPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionFrom Dykes The Genus IrisIris germanica sidePhoto by Iris Gal Iris GardenPhoto by Iris ParadisePhoto by Old House Gardens.Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.Photo by Winterberry GardensPhoto by Tammy Skahan-Ozark Iris GardensBiodiversity Heritage LibraryGermanica Typ AGermanica Typ CPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collectionHortus EystentensisIrisGermanicaPhoto by John Black, zone 4, MontanaPhoto by Napa Country Iris Gardenfrom the book Photo by Seagate Irises-United KingdomPhoto by Iris City GardensPhoto by Argyle AcresPries photo


a name of dubious value. It has been used to lump everything from all tall bearded hybrids (xgermanica); to having been narrowly defined as 'Germanica' a widespread cultivar often called 'Grandmother old flags'. Since the definition has varied with so many authors, references to it in this text carry a variety of meanings. for further discussion see J. Taylor (1995).

'Germanica' The clone found in many gardens as 'Grandmother's Blue Flags', probably of natural hybrid origin. Said to be sterile, but will produce seed freely under proper conditions; first treated as a species by Linneaus. This blue intermediate iris with lighter standards and darker falls is best treated as an IB cultivar of unknown parentage, and registered with A.I.S. as a species. If we accept this type of Linnaeus as a hybrid (2n=44) then we are left without an accepted species to which we can assign the various forms and varieties of Iris germanica. Possibly tetraploid forms should be assigned to Iris amasia Foster (2n=48). For this list we have retained the name Iris germanica since it is so widely used and no taxonomist has been brave enough to tackle this disparity. AIS Bulletins gives the following description; "Early; Standards pleroma violet; falls velvety nigosin violet; stalk high and short branched; growth vigorous; 2 ft. Spathes tinged maroon; beard white, yellow tipt at base; haft white with braod reticulations of purple; winter foliage half-grown. Rarely fertile in the north." [Mathew includes many varieties under Iris germanica including tetraploid forms.


References: Iris germanica L. in ;
Gerarde 1597; Herbal
Chromosome counts: 2n=44, Banerji & Chaudhuri, 1972; 2n=28, Mao 1986; 2n=44 Sopova 1982; 2n=44, Váchová & Feráková, 1986; 2n=44, Lovka, 1995.
Hort. Eyst. Cel. Eyst. Vern. Ord. 8. Fol. 5. 11 1613, illustrated;
Gordon 1790;
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 18; 670. 1803, illustrated in color;
Redouté, Les Liliacées, 1802
Prince 1823;
Macoun; Farr 1912; Per. 1938; Vilm. 1938; Wass. 1938; Kat. 1939;
"Bearded Iris Tried at Wisley"-Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society 131.; H.C., R.H.S. 1916; AA clvii.;


Iris nostras; iris hortensis; iris nostras hortensis; latifolia vulgaris coerulea, 1613; Spectabilis, 1796; vulgaris, 1810; violacea, 1815; Florentina purpurea; Parisensis; To the true germanica have also been applied the following common names which are to be treated as synonyms; Blue Bird; Florentina Blue; Germanica ancien; Purple Queen; ("Old Grandmother's Early Blue"); sweet fragrance.


The following <>cultivars have been said to be forms of Iris germanica;
'Adriatic Shores', 'Amas', 'Askabadensis', 'Baveilles', 'Belouinii', 'Biliotti', 'Black Prince', 'Col Du Chat', 'Cretan', 'Crimson King', 'Croatica', 'Deflexa', 'Florentina', 'Fontarabie', 'Germanica' 'Germanica Alba', 'Germanica Caerulea', 'Germanica Major', 'Germanica Marmorata', 'Germanica Maxima' 'Germanica Violacea', 'Germanica Vulgaris', 'Gnome', 'Gypsy Queen', 'Istria', 'Junonia', 'Kharput', 'Kirman', 'Kochii', 'Kurdistan', 'Lemperg Purple', 'Macrantha', 'Nepalensis”, 'Oriflamme', 'Paladin', 'Purple King', 'Seattle' 'Sivas'; 'Srinagar', 'Thun', 'Turchino', 'Varbosiana', 'Varbossana'.


Germanica crosses other than those with Amas
'Bellorio', 'Carmelo', 'Cosette', 'Daesitiatensis', 'Dorothea', 'Eglamour', 'Father Time', 'Louis Bel', 'Milesaway', 'Mistress Ford', 'Mme Claude Monet'

Iris 'Amas' crosses
'Alcazar', 'Ambassadeur', 'Angelo', 'Anne Bullen', 'Arac', 'Autumn Haze', 'Autumn King', 'Blue Bird', 'Blue Gown', 'Dominion', 'Dorcas Hutcheson', 'Daesitiatensis', 'Dulcimer', 'Edouard Michel', 'Eleanor Roosevelt', 'Frida', 'Grenville', 'Harbinger', 'Ib-Mac', 'Juliet', 'Kiltealy Shy Blue', 'Lady Grey', 'Lent A. Williamson', 'Lochinvar', 'Lord Of June', 'Magnifica', 'Monsieur Chaber', 'Mrs. Walter Brewster', 'Neptune', 'Palmyra, 'Papio', 'Phyllis Bliss', 'Prospero', 'Pumilac', 'René Cayeux', 'Sarpedon', 'Sir John Eaton', 'Souv. De Mme Gaudichau', 'Speed', 'Speedwell', 'Susa', 'Tartarin', 'Twilight', 'Ursula', 'Violet Wonder'.

¼ Iris germanica 'Amas' crosses ("grandchildren" of 'Amas' listed by parent)
  • 'ALCAZAR' crosses: 'Aaron', 'Ahwahnee', 'Aljenkes', 'Alkinah', 'Alosaka', 'Al-Rashid', 'Andante', 'Azrael', 'Baldur', 'Birchcroft', 'Bouleuardier', 'Cassandra', 'Chenango', 'Chief Iroqouis', 'Desire', 'Dido', 'Dusk', 'Evensong', 'Feldspar', 'Fortuna', 'Frances', 'George R. Miller', 'Glowing Embers', 'Helio', 'Impressario', 'James Hudelson', 'J. C. Weld', 'Juma', 'Kalif', 'Kirdyaga', 'Lady Bountiful', 'Lady Eleanor', 'Leocrates', 'Mela-Haska', 'Midnight Skies', 'Mrs. Henri Cayeu', 'Modoc', 'Monteserrat', 'Novril', 'Ortrud', 'Ox Heart', 'Petruchio', 'Purple Eve', 'Rosini', 'Rowena', 'Shakoka', 'Sophroni', 'Tubal Cain', 'Warrior', 'Wendon'.
  • 'AMBASSADEUR' crosses: 'Aurex', 'Bronze Glory', 'Crown Princess', 'Eleanor Of Toleador', 'Governor', 'Iran Kandahar', 'Kankakee', 'King Philip', 'Klamath', 'M.A. Porter', 'Marotte', 'Mystery Of Night', 'Night', 'Old Salem', 'Oregon Beauty', 'Oregon Giant', 'Penn Treaty', 'Potentate', 'Provincetown', 'Shah Jehan', 'Sheba', 'Sunny Sue', 'Sylvania', 'Theodore', 'Tigral', 'Treasury', 'Tyroler', 'Valor', 'Yakima'.
  • 'ANNE BULLEN' crosses: 'Carita', 'Gold Craft'
  • 'AUTUMN KING' crosses: 'Blue Frost',' Franklin Rooseveldt', 'King Junior'
  • 'DOMINION' crosses: 'Amber Glow', 'Averil', 'Bernardino', 'Bertrand', 'Blue Heaven', 'Bruno', 'Canelands', 'Canopus', 'Cantata', 'Cardinal', 'Centurion', 'Charis', 'Chenoa', 'Colonna', 'Columbia', 'Conchobar', 'Cydnus', 'Dominion Rex', 'Duke Of Bedford', 'Enchantement', 'Erebian', 'Ethereal', 'Eureka', 'Frona', 'Ganges', 'Glamour', 'Grace Sturtevant', 'Hyperion', 'Illuminator', 'Independence', 'Iridescence', 'Jolly Roger', 'Junion', 'Kaza Dagh', 'Khalasa', 'Khartoum', 'Khorason', 'Kukanishi', 'Leonardo', 'Lola', 'Maisie Lowe', 'Majestic', 'Midnight Sun', 'Minnell', 'Moa', 'Mora', 'Nanette', 'Order Of The Purple', 'Ordway', 'Oriel' 'Packard Blue', 'Pecos', 'Pendragon', 'Prairie King Rosakura', 'Red Admiral', 'Red Dominion', 'Reoma', 'Romola', Sandakan 'Shalbruz', 'Sikh', 'Sintram', 'Sir George Grey', 'Sivad', 'Snowking', 'Soloman', 'Song Of India', 'Spring Azure', 'Sugar Cane', 'Sumac', 'Swazi', 'Syhila', 'Talwar', 'Tapestry', 'Tasman', 'Tenebrae', 'Texas Ranger', 'Titan', 'Yeoman'.
  • 'DULCIMER' crosses: 'Il Penserosa'.
  • 'LENT A. WILLIAMSON' crosses: 'Aaron', 'Alcanna', 'Alencon', 'Alpine Glow', 'Alvarado', 'Amalia', 'Amanecer', 'Anglo-Saxon', 'Antique King', 'Bandellero', 'Bazra', 'Benedictus', 'Bravura', 'Brownlet', 'Buffalo Bill', 'Cantabille', 'Carcanet', 'Cavatina', 'Chenango', 'Corsair', 'Crimson Clover', 'Crucible', 'Dainty', 'Delaware', 'Designer', 'Dolly Madison', 'Dorothy', 'Dr. Mckinney', 'Emperor Arcadius', 'Flamingo', 'Guyasuta', 'James Hudelson', 'Jesse Williamson', 'Juma', 'Lady Joan', 'Lamia', 'Leocrates', 'Magnason', 'Mary Alice', 'Meadow', 'Meredith', 'Milly Mitchel', 'Morning Splendour', 'Muscatel', 'Novril', 'Ox Heart', 'Palamar', 'Potentate', 'Purple Glory', 'Segovia', 'Singing Wood', 'Sir Galahad', 'Sonata', 'Taylor', 'Tropic Seas', 'Tuscany Gold', 'Tuscarira', 'Vallis', 'Wenden', 'Willian Black'.
  • 'MAGNIFICA' crosses: 'Alpha Major', 'Cresset' 'Hollywood', 'King Fish', 'Leonardo', 'Olympic' 'Red Eagle', 'Rena'.
  • 'SARPEDON' crosses: 'Jennett Dean'.
  • 'SOUV. DE MME GAUDICHAU' crosses: 'Amico', 'Anglo-Saxon', 'Arno', 'Athos', 'Avrelle', 'Belmont', 'Birchcroft', 'Blue Deep', 'Blue Dusk', 'Blue Knight', 'Brilliantine', 'Buff Top', 'Campanile', 'Catherine', 'Chief Iroquois', 'Chrysoberyl', 'Clos Voget', 'Cooley Surprise', 'Delaware', 'Devon Maid', 'Dover', 'Dr. Minot', 'Evening Primrose', 'Exemplar', 'Flora Becker', 'Ganges', 'Gault', 'Gawain', 'George R. Miller', 'Guyasuta', 'Indigo Bunting', 'Ishallah' Jesse Williamson' June', 'Knight Kankakee', 'King Philip', 'Maisie Lowe', 'M.A. Porter', 'Massafra', 'Milesaway', 'Modoc', 'Moglia', 'Motif', 'Mrs. Arthur Chenowith', 'Mystery Of Night', 'Night', 'Nocturne', 'Old Salem', 'Ombre', 'On Parade', 'Opata', 'Otterbein', 'Ozark Triumph', 'Pacific', 'Penn Treaty', 'Poet', 'Prince', 'Prendado', 'Proem', 'Provincetown', 'Puritan Maid', 'Purple East', 'Rahere', 'Repose', 'Royal Salute', 'Sail Aloft', 'San Diego', 'Shag-Laska', 'Sierra Blue', 'Sir Knight', 'Sylvania', 'Theodolinda', 'Theodore', 'Titanic', 'Tivoli', 'Trouvaille', 'Via Praenestina', 'Voghera', 'Volturno', 'Weymouth', 'Whitehall', 'Yolande.
  • 'TARTARIN' crosses: 'Gabriel'

Other crosses with 'Amas' as grandparent: 'Alpine Halo', 'Anine', 'Amante', 'Ardimac', 'Argyll Las', 'Aril Lady', 'Beautiful Dreamer', 'Bethel Queen', 'Capitola', 'Cinna Mac', 'Clouded Moon', 'Dance Of Spring', 'Don Ricardo', 'Grenville', 'Hidden Secret', 'Hoogimac', 'Lady Mohr', 'Lasting', 'Legacy', 'Little Lena', 'Moonchild', 'Morera', 'My Cap', 'Mystery Guest', 'Norseman', 'Persian Pattern', 'Silver Charm', 'Somewhere', 'Susimac'.

'Germanica Alba'. (Collected). TB; E; W1, White; 2n=44. Offered by John Cree of Addlestone Nursery in 1837. See next entry also. [Iris germanica].

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region: Northwest Balkan Penninsula, Yugoslavia (for I. xgermanica, (I.pallida x I.variegata)). Note widely naturalized across Europe
Cultivation: Full sun, Well-drained soil. Generally retains some leaves over winter. Summer dormancy during dry conditions is best time to divide and transplant.

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-- BobPries - 2010-01-12
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
1753IrisGermanica.JPGJPG 1753IrisGermanica.JPG manage 146 K 18 Jun 2017 - 02:11 TerryLaurin Photo by Daniel Boris,Iris Du Grand Barbu-France
6A600D71-8896-4F1A-B899-D15078ACEB1A.jpegjpeg 6A600D71-8896-4F1A-B899-D15078ACEB1A.jpeg manage 494 K 27 Feb 2023 - 06:09 BeverlySteiner Iris germanica Front
A213C7E3-484B-455E-BAC8-1C32AB8E97F6.jpegjpeg A213C7E3-484B-455E-BAC8-1C32AB8E97F6.jpeg manage 1 MB 27 Feb 2023 - 08:15 BeverlySteiner Iris germanica
Dykes_Plate_XLVIII_germanica_edited-1.jpgjpg Dykes_Plate_XLVIII_germanica_edited-1.jpg manage 33 K 03 Jan 2011 - 21:38 BobPries From Dykes The Genus Iris
E589DB6C-D2FF-44F3-B20C-D12543FC99E1.jpegjpeg E589DB6C-D2FF-44F3-B20C-D12543FC99E1.jpeg manage 1 MB 27 Feb 2023 - 06:08 BeverlySteiner Iris germanica side
Germanica9.jpgjpg Germanica9.jpg manage 36 K 07 Jul 2021 - 02:38 TerryLaurin Photo by Tammy Skahan-Ozark Iris Gardens
Germanica_Typ_A.JPGJPG Germanica_Typ_A.JPG manage 55 K 30 Jan 2011 - 13:11 IrisP  
Germanica_Typ_C.JPGJPG Germanica_Typ_C.JPG manage 61 K 30 Jan 2011 - 13:11 IrisP  
Hortus_EystentensisIrisGermanica.jpgjpg Hortus_EystentensisIrisGermanica.jpg manage 1 MB 03 May 2016 - 17:02 BobPries  
I._germanicaJB.jpgjpg I._germanicaJB.jpg manage 95 K 28 Jan 2012 - 20:37 BetsyHiggins Photo by John Black, zone 4, Montana
IGermanicaAA.jpgjpg IGermanicaAA.jpg manage 26 K 16 Feb 2011 - 17:55 BetsyHiggins Photo by Argyle Acres
I_GERMANICA_EI.jpgjpg I_GERMANICA_EI.jpg manage 55 K 08 Jul 2016 - 12:13 Main.ruiris from the book 'The Iris' (G. Rodionenko et al., 1981)
I_Germanica01.jpgjpg I_Germanica01.jpg manage 49 K 10 Oct 2014 - 15:54 TerryLaurin Photo by Napa Country Iris Garden
Iris_germanica_vulgaris1_edited-4.jpgjpg Iris_germanica_vulgaris1_edited-4.jpg manage 73 K 14 Apr 2010 - 23:55 BobPries Pries photo
cretan1.JPGJPG cretan1.JPG manage 397 K 29 Apr 2019 - 22:29 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
cretan2.JPGJPG cretan2.JPG manage 481 K 29 Apr 2019 - 22:31 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
cretan3.JPGJPG cretan3.JPG manage 333 K 29 Apr 2019 - 22:33 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
germanica01.jpgjpg germanica01.jpg manage 28 K 12 Aug 2014 - 23:13 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris Gal Iris Garden
germanica02.JPGJPG germanica02.JPG manage 93 K 10 Aug 2015 - 19:39 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris Paradise
germanica05.jpgjpg germanica05.jpg manage 58 K 31 Jan 2019 - 15:05 TerryLaurin Photo by Old House Gardens.
germanica1.JPGJPG germanica1.JPG manage 529 K 03 Aug 2018 - 18:40 TerryLaurin Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
germanica2.JPGJPG germanica2.JPG manage 584 K 03 Aug 2018 - 18:42 TerryLaurin Photo by Nancy McDonald-The Pickle Barrel Collection.
germanica8.JPGJPG germanica8.JPG manage 53 K 13 Jan 2014 - 03:35 TerryLaurin Photo by Winterberry Gardens
germanica_redoute_309.jpgjpg germanica_redoute_309.jpg manage 59 K 11 Oct 2013 - 14:09 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
germanicaistria.JPGJPG germanicaistria.JPG manage 273 K 06 May 2019 - 22:10 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
germanicaistria1.JPGJPG germanicaistria1.JPG manage 331 K 06 May 2019 - 22:12 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
germanicanepalensis.JPGJPG germanicanepalensis.JPG manage 417 K 06 May 2019 - 21:59 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
igermanica01.jpgjpg igermanica01.jpg manage 20 K 11 Sep 2014 - 16:17 TerryLaurin Photo by Seagate Irises-United Kingdom
igermanica02.jpgjpg igermanica02.jpg manage 52 K 21 Aug 2014 - 01:39 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris City Gardens
Topic revision: r51 - 31 Mar 2023, PascalJordan
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