| Curtis's botanical Magazine Table 5847, 1870 A more singular looking plant than the subject of this plate seldom falls under observation in a living state, its dwarf habit, gigantic flower, great snow-white erect outer perianth leaves, the equally large strangely coloured inner perianth, and the deflexed stigmas with shining black purple humped bases, the two latter organs resembling some great insect, make up a flower of singular oddity and beauty too. We have referred it to the Iris iberica of Hoffman, with dried specimens of which it entirely agrees. It differs, however, from the plant figured by Dr. Regel in the Gartenflora under this name, in the obtuseness and colour of the inner perianth-segments, which are represented as ochreous-brown, and as wanting the polished almost black disk and marbled edges of our plant ; the colour of these organs is however described as being excessively variable, and as ochreous-yellow in his var. ochreacea. Klatt refers the I. taurica of Loddige's Botanical Cabinet to this species, but I know not on what authority beyond Loddige's figure, which is extremely unlike this plant. Iris iberica is a native of the Iberian provinces of the Caucasus, and of Imeretia (not of the Iberian Peninsula) and extends into Cilicia, Kurdistan, and probably Persia, inhabiting mountains of 6500 feet high. The magnificent specimen here figured was. sent for publication by Mr. Ware, of the Hale Farm Nurseries, Tottenham, with whom it flowered in May of the present year.Descr. Rootstock tufted. Stem three to six inches high, leafy. leaves glaucous, shorter than the stem, much recurved, falcate or re volute, linear-ensifbrm, two to four inches long, one quarter to three quarters in diameter, margins flat or wrinkled, membranous, as are the sheaths. Spathes two, ovate-lanceolate, rather longer or shorter than the perianth-tube, membranous except at the base. Flower solitary, very large, three to five inches from the tip of the reflexed to that of the erect perianth-segments, and two to three across the former. Outer perianth-segments erect, orbicular, subcordate at the base, white, undulate, with a few red spots towards the base on the inner surface ; inner segments deflexed, broadly oblong, rounded at the tip, concave with entire recurved margins, yellow-green, covered with wrinkled dark-purple reticulate narrow bands : disk depressed, black-purple, shining. Stigmas reflexed on the disk of the inner perianth-segments, obovate-oblong, keeled, with broad 2-fid recurved toothed tips, dull yellow mottled with red-brown; convex base black-purple and shining — J. D. H.
| Dykes in The Genus Iris, 1913;Description. Rootstock , a slender rhizome, spreading by means of stolons. Leaves , 5 to 6 to a tuft, often very falcate, linear, glaucous, 4-6 in. long, ¼--½ in. broad. Stem , one-flowered, 3-6 in. high, bearing a single bractlike leaf about the middle, and springing from a tuft of 3-4 reduced leaves. Spathe valves , lanceolate, acute, 2-3 in. long, reaching above the tube, green, often flushed with pale pinkish purple. Pedicel , very short. Ovary , cylindrical. Tube , greenish, cylindrical, an inch long. Falls , at first horizontal, but rapidly becoming deflexed, distinctly concave, the blade of an orbicular or rounded oblong shape and the haft broad. In the centre of the blade is a triangular signal patch of purplish black, the apex lying under the style, outside which the colouring consists of a close network of irregular thickset brownish-purple veins on a whitish-yellow ground. The diffuse beard consists of short purple-brown hairs. 2½-3 in. long by 2 in. broad. Standards , connivent, the blade orbicular, with a short haft, much paler and often smaller than falls, the colouring being composed of faint dots and broken veins of purplish brown or bluish purple on a silvery-white ground, 2½ in. long by 2 in. broad. Styles , deflexed very abruptly, lying close down on the falls, with a slight median ridge, very convex, of a dark purplish brown colour at the base, the upper part being almost cream, dotted with brown purple.Crests, small, triangular, reflexed, closely dotted and mottled with red brown. Stigma , entire, of a light purplish brown colour. Filaments , pale purplish yellow. Anthers , long, cream. Pollen , cream. Capsule , trigonal, tapering ellipsoid, dehiscing below the apex. Seeds , globose or pyriform, red brown, with a large cream-coloured aril.Observations.This Iris has been in cultivation for a number of years, and in some gardens has become more nearly acclimatized to the climatic conditions of western Europe than any other Oncocyclus Iris except I. susiana.There is little doubt that this species varies in colour to some extent. For instance, in Foster's notes I find that in 1889 he received a form that was sent to him from Van in Armenia by Dr Reynolds, and of which the standards were a pure creamy white, with only a few black-purple veins on the inside of the haft. The falls were closely and irregularly reticulated with red brown, the signal patch being nearly deep crimson. In the variety insignis, van Houtte (Gard. Chron. 1879, I. p. 693, fig. 100), the standards are dark, almost as dark" as the falls. Regel's var. ochracea (Gartenflora t. 386 (1863)) has a yellowish ground, and Baker's var, Bellii (Hdk. lrid. p. 20) has dark lilac standards. The variety Perryana (Florist, 1873, 25, and Baker I.e.) resembles this latter. All agree, however, in possessing the curious spoon-shaped concave falls and depressed style branches, which give the flower an appearance quite unlike that of any other Iris. Reference has already been made (see p. 108) to the slender, erect and not falcate leaves borne by seedlings in their first season, and it may well be that the falcate character of the leaves of wild plants is largely the result of the conditions in which they grow, and not necessarily inherent in them.