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■ (SPEC) Iris marsica Ricci & Colasante

1973, Botanical authors Ricci & Colasante 2n=40, Colasante & Sauer, 1993.

See below:


_Iris marsica_ Ricci & Colas. (L. Ricci and Maretta Colasante, 1973, Mount Marsica, Abruzzi National Park, Appennines, Central Italy); Section Iris. SPEC. Flowering May-June; 27-32" (70-80 cm). Flowers violet, self or bitone, beard yellow or white. Ricci & Colasante in Annali Di Botanica (Roma) vol. 32: p. 217-35; 1973; 14 color illustrations.
Nigel Service gives the following note in The 1988 Iris Year Book, p.94-95; "To the east of Rome the southern continuation of the Appenine chain forms the Appenino Abruzzese. Here the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo was established in 1921 in an area of mountains of a much more benign appearance than the Portuguese ones, with well-cultivated valleys and rather too numerous tourist facilities. The centre of the area and headquarters of the park administration is the large village of Pescasseroli, and a number of other villages are also contained within the park.

Here, in this area, is found Iris marsica Ricci & Colasante, described only in 1973 and not yet in general cultivation.
Iris marsica is a member of Section Iris, the Pogons, and is, in appearance (certainly to the casual observer), very like a form of I. germanica L. but is distinct in its rather sickle-shaped deciduous foliage and generally longer, less scarious spathes, as well as by its chromosome number and resultant high fertility. It is named after Monte Marsicano, a dominant peak in that part ot the Abruzzi.

The leaves are light green, slightly glaucous, often falcate and broadest in the middle, about 12" long. The stem can reach 24", flattened, glaucous and usually clothed in its lower part by two sheathing leaves, one basal, the other arising from a node near the base and often closely enclosing the stem for all its length of about 4" to 6". There may, in addition, be two or three other short basal leaves. Normally there are two branches, the lower being about the length of its bract; the upper, if produced, is a shorter branch contained within the bract. There seems always to be at least one branch, this arising from a point more than halfway up the stem and approximating in both appearance and position to the lower branch of two branched stems.

The spathe is rounded, slightly inflated, purple-marked, the upper quarter scarious by the time of opening of the first flower, the inner valve distinctly longer. There are usually 3 flowers at the apex. The pedicel is short and the ovary bluntly triangular in section.

The perianth tube can reach nearly 1 ½". The standards are more or less elliptic with a narrow haft, about 3" X 1 ½", the falls obovate-cuneate, about 3" X 1 ¾" with a white beard tipped pale yellow which becomes wholly yellow in the haft. Both standards and falls are violet with the latter, as is usual in this section, darker and more intense in colour, sometimes with a paler margin, apparently. The style arms are witish with a violet crest and keel, the crest being acute-pointed and rather toothed. The filaments and anthers are both white and of about the same length, though apparently the filaments can also be blue. The pollen appears to be pale cream."
Bulletin of the American Iris Society 292: 82-85. Jan. 1994

"Iris marsica Ricci and Calasante

Perennial. Thick rhizome, knotted and more or less horizontal. Leaves ensiform and falcate, deciduous, up to 50 cm long, 5 cm wide, acute, often mucronate (4) apex, glaucous. Stem subcylindrical, branched with several (3 to 4) nodes, with a spathe on the first, height up to 80 cm, jutting out above the leaves, usually with 3 flowers, rarely 4.

Scented flowers, violet, with perigonial tube twice the length of the ovary; the bracts, acute, herbaceous, often scarious (5) at the apex, slightly swollen; falls (6-8 x 2-4 cm) bearded, velvety, more or less obovate or spathulate, lightly erose at margins, violet sometimes black but always darker than the standards; standards (5.5-9 x 2.3-4.5 cm) elliptical, narrower base (lower third of the standard), often connivent at the apex (6), violet. Stamen with filament more or less the same length as the anther. Pollen pale yellow, monocolpic (7), the grains show the sexine variously arranged in sculptures (baculae, clavae, pile) partially joint at the apex to show short murti.

Stigma with upper lip acutely bifid with toothed margin, the lower lip smooth.

Ovary (about 1.5 to 2.3 cm), oblong, somewhat trigonal with three grooves.

Capsule oblong-ovioid with six grooves of which three are more apparent (3 + 3).

Seeds bright brown to reddish, without anI.

It is found in central Italy in the Abruzzes National Park. Reported also, but not for certain, in the Marche and Latium, on Monte Ernici, up to an altitude of 1800 m.

Flowering in May-June.

Holotype (RO): Val di Rose, Civitella Alfedena, Abruzzi, Italy, 1973. Described and named by Ricci and Colasante.

Number of chromosomes: 2n = 40."



Chromosome counts

2n=40, Colasante & Sauer, 1993.






Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region:



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-- Main.RPries - 2010-02-08
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Marsica.JPGJPG Marsica.JPG manage 72 K 30 Jan 2011 - 13:42 IrisP  
Untitled-2.jpgjpg Untitled-2.jpg manage 407 K 26 Aug 2016 - 20:13 BobPries Colasante sketch
marsica01.JPGJPG marsica01.JPG manage 476 K 07 May 2019 - 02:51 Main.TLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
marsica02.JPGJPG marsica02.JPG manage 495 K 07 May 2019 - 02:53 Main.TLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
marsica03.JPGJPG marsica03.JPG manage 480 K 07 May 2019 - 02:55 Main.TLaurin Photo scanned from the Carol Lankow slide collection
marsica1.jpgjpg marsica1.jpg manage 225 K 14 Jun 2016 - 21:23 Main.TLaurin Photo by Marty Shafer/Jan Sacks-Joe Pye Weed's Garden
marsica2.jpgjpg marsica2.jpg manage 275 K 14 Jun 2016 - 21:24 Main.TLaurin Photo by Marty Shafer/Jan Sacks-Joe Pye Weed's Garden
Topic revision: r8 - 29 Mar 2022, TLaurin
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