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(SPEC) Iris kimballiae Small

Iris kimballiae 1924, Small

Iris kimballiae (John Kunkel Small, 1924)in Addisonia vol. 9: 4, plate 318, p.59-60, Dec. 1924. Kew World Checklist considers it a synonym of Iris savannarum Small,

Small wrote:
IRIS KIMBALLIAE Miss Kimball's Blue-flag. Native of Florida. Family Iridaceae Iris Family.
Iris Kimhalliae Small, sp. nov. Perhaps the Iris flora of the region north of the terminal moraine was extensive in pre-glacial times. Species, or their ancestors, that previously had been saved from extinction on the pleistocene highlands may have been completely wiped out by the ice. This seems reasonable, for south of the moraine irises are comparatively numerous. They, or their ancestors, have had uninterrupted existence since they descended to the lowlands. They seem to have taken most eagerly to the wash of the old Piedmont and the mountains after it is spread out where there has been and still is but little change to disturb their peaceful existence. Even the plant collector has not yet secured specimens sufficient for the student to form a reasonable idea of their geographic distribution, and the habitats are not to the liking of the vandal.
The river-swamps of the Gulf coast region of Florida are rich in Iris. In the swamps within the city limits of Apalachicola are two quite distinct species, both of them botanically undescribed. Plants of one of these sent to the New York Botanical Garden by Winifred Kimball in the fall of 1921 flowered the following year, and from them the accompanying illustration was made. This is, perhaps, one of the several plants heretofore included under the designation "Iris hexagona" ; but it really belongs to a different group of the genus, for the pods are obtusely three-angled, instead of having six sharp angles. As in the case of Iris savannarum, which is isolated in the interior prairies of Florida, Iris Kimhalliae has become isolated in some of the coast-region swamps of the State. It prefers a black silt loam, usually in swamps whose water covers the surface, at least part of the year, and often where conditions have permitted a turf of grasses and sedges to form.
The geographic range of Iris Kimhalliae cannot yet be definitely defined. However, it has been found in the swamps along the lower Apalachicola River and in swamps in the vicinity of the lagoons in the coastal region of both sides of the upper part of the peninsula. The type specimens of this species are in the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden. Next spring plants of this species will be set out at several places in order to learn if they may be used as a garden plant at the North.
Miss Kimball's blue-flag has a very stout fleshy rootstock. The leaves are erect, five to eight together, stiff, with linear, or slightly broadest above the middle, attenuate blades two to three feet tall. The flower-stalk is erect, one and a half to three feet tall, usually about equaling the leaves, green, often glaucescent when young, simple or with a short peduncle-like branch. The flowers are usually two together, pedicelled, but only partly exserted from the involucre. The pedicels are one half to three quarters of an inch long. The hypanthium, surrounding the ovary, is longer than the pedicel, bluntly three-angled. The perianth-tube is funnelform, shorter than the hypanthium. The three sepals are spreading, remate, three and a half to four inches long; the blade is ovate or elliptic-ovate, longer than the claw, rich purple, notched at the apex, with a linear yellow fine-hairy crest running from the base of the claw up to the middle of the blade ; the claw is one quarter to three eighths of an inch wide, greenish white, shading to yellow at the base of the blade, finely green-striate, white-margined, with a greenish yellow rib running up into the crest of the blade. The three petals are nearly erect, spatulate, about three inches long, green with white margins and purple near the base, violet above. The three stamens are nearly an inch and a quarter long, with the anthers nearly twice as long as the filaments. The three style-branches are broadly linear, or narrowly linear-cuneate, an inch and a half to one and three quarters inches long, less than half an inch wide, purplish within. The style-appendages are obliquely ovate, a half inch long or slightly longer, laciniate or sharply incised near the apex. The stigma is broadly two-lobed, the lobes irregularly erose. The capsules are ellipsoid or oval, about two inches long, bluntly three-angled, often slightly blunt-beaked, with an obscure ridge on each face and on each angle, rather thin-walled. The mature pedicels are mostly as long as the capsules or longer. The seeds, borne in two rows in each carpel or capsule-cavity, are slightly corky, semicircular, brown, thick-edged on the outer side, thin-edged on the inner, about one third of an inch in diameter.
John K. Small.

See below:

* * References
Kimballiae Addisonia 313.jpg


Awaiting original catalog description

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Topic revision: r5 - 03 Feb 2022, Harloiris
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