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(SPEC) Iris germanica 'Caerulea'

2002, Collector Service

Iris germanica 'Caerulea' (Nigel Service, 2002). Section Iris ; Iris germanica 'Caerulea'.

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Described in SIGNA#68 by Nigel Service as; "Leaves about 50 cm (20 in.) long x 4.0-4.5 cm (1.6-1.8 in.) wide, becoming broadest rather under 2/3rd of the way up. Rather light green-yellow, red-edged on the verlap towards flowering and in some years dark-tipped. The degree of herbaceousness is distinctly variable from plant to plant and year to year, averaging between 7.285 (D6) and 11.50 (N.S.186). Stems averaging nearly 60 cm (24 in.) long with the longest recorded being 78.5 cm (30.9 in.) with up to four long basal leaves and one or two stem leaves, the lower long, the upper set high with node revealed and much stained. Stems 2-, 3-, sometimes 4-branched usually with foliate lower bract. The lowest branch, even on a 3-branch stem, is set high, often as much as 2/3rds of the stem. The middle branch is (often) contained within its (often) semi-foliate bract. The upper is short and always exceeded by its bract. The bracts, on first becoming visible are dark purple-tinged towards the apex. The keels heavily pigmented. The lower bract is, at an early stage, heavily stained on its lower, inflated section and less so on the blade, this color fading as the stem elongates. Heavy, dark blotches develop on bracts and spathes with the upper bract tending to become scarious early. Spathe about 5.5 cm (2.2 in.) long, the inner valve more scarious. The outer valve ½ -scarious by flowering, about 4.5 cm (1.8 in.) long. 2-flowered at apex, though often only 1. If 4-branched then only single flowered. 1-flowered on the branches. Flower blue-violet, diameter 6.0-7.0 cm (2.4-2.8 in.). Flower size small, Barely scented. Pedicel short, 6.0-7.0 mm (0.24-0.28 in.). Ovary to 1.9 cm (0.75 in.) long x ).9 cm (0.35 in.) wide, roundedly triangular, 6-grooved. Tube 2.8 cm (1.1 in.), green with dark purple and noticeably recessed lines below the standards. Falls open closest to RHS-FCC 86A/87A and fade to 88A-B/90A. Haft ground white veined ochre. Reverse green mottled. Striation ground white, striations golden-yellow-brown with a grey tinge. Beard white tipped yellow 13A but becoming orange in haft, quite dense. 7.2 cm (2.8 in.) long x 4.1 cm (1.6 in.) wide.
Standards often distinctly asymmetric in the lower margins of the blade. Opening 92A but darker, fading to about 94C but bluer. Haft yellowy-white marked with brown, occassionally bearing a few hairs. 7.2 cm (2.8 in.) long x 4.6 cm (1.8 in.) wide. Style arms pale pink-colorless with a blue keel, about 4.5 cm (1.8 in.) long overall with crest 1.3 cm (0.5 in.). Opens ± 91A and barely fades. Filaments palest blue, 1.7 cm (0.7 in.). Anther cream-white. 1.6 cm (0.6 in.). Pollen white Capsule rounded to roundedly triangular with 3 grooves at the angles and less defined grooves down the sides, obovate both ends obtuse, the apex more so 4.5-6.2 cm (1.8-2.4 in.) long x 2.2-2.5 cm (0.86-2.0 in.) wide. Seeds globular-short beaked to oval or roundedly pyriform, dark reddish-brown, wrinkled, 5.7-6.6 mm. (0.23-0.26 in.) long x 3.3-4.8 mm (0.13-0.19 in. wide. Flowering season is early, Fertility is not high, capsules occur only occassionally, three seedlings were raised (1989)one of which died and one second generation obtained (1992). Nothing since. Distribution; With the exception of one isolated collection from just over the river at Tarascon, Caerulea seems limited to the area to the west of the mouth of the Rhone where there is an extroadinary concentrations of groups. Here, in this small area, it is probably the dominant blue, or violet flowered form. It will be seen that this is broadly the same area as that in which Alba occurs. Caerulea however extends further to the west, almost as far as Montpellier. Discussion; The spelling of the name is uncertain, Randolph and Mitra (1959) spell it Coerulea and this was the spelling on the label in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris from which my first named plant came, allowing me to put a title to the group. This was the plant (Verriers No. 511) used by Prof. Marc Simonet for his cytological work (1932) and he spelt it Caerulea. Here the group is spelt as Simonet did. Up to four branches with a clear relationship between the maximum number of branches and the number of flowers at the apex, that is not, I think, so obvious ar so without exception in other groups." Note that the proper Latin spelling is "cærulea".

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-01-12
  • the right latin name is Cærulea -- AlainFranco - 2014-10-19
Topic revision: r8 - 19 Nov 2022, af.83
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