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■ (SPEC) Iris mesopotamica Dykes

1913, Botanical author Dykes (SPEC) Iris mesopotamica

Iris mesopotamica Dykes (William Rickatson Dykes, 1913, Mardin); Section Iris. TB; Midseason bloom. Height 36-48" (90-120 cm); Color Code-B7M; Medium purple self;

See below:


Dykes in The Genus Iris, 1913;


Rootstock , a stout rhizome.
Leaves , ensiform, of a somewhat deep green, slightly glaucous, very broad ; 18-24 in. by 2 in.
Stem , 3-4 ft. high, very sturdy, bearing a terminal head of 3 flowers and 2-3 lateral heads each of 2 flowers, the lowest branch being the longest. The stem is erect.
Spathes , 2-2½ in. long, green, thin and somewhat membranous, only scarious in the upper half, somewhat acuminate.
Pedicel , extremely short.
Ovary , rounded trigonal with concave sides and a slight depression running down each angle.
Tube , ½-1 in. broad.
Falls . The obovate blade passes without any constriction into- the broad haft, which is marked with thick purple-bronze veins on an almost white ground. This colouration ends abruptly about the level of the end of the beard. Beyond this the blade is of a light blue-purple overlaid with a redder shade in the central portion. The beard is almost white in front but becomes almost orang-e on the haft.
Standards , obovate with a short channelled haft which bears a few indistinct bronze-purple veins on a light ground. The blade is of a pale blue-purple, of a lighter shade than the falls.
Styles , pale in colour except along the central ridge, which is blue-purple.
Crests , triangular, blue-purple.
Stigma , entire.
Filaments , colourless.
Anthers , cream.
Pollen , white.
Capsule , oblong, trigonal, 2-2½ in. long, with thick walls.
Seeds , dark red-brown, wrinkled, somewhat pyriform but often compressed.


This fine Iris grows in the neighbourhood of Mardin in northern Mesopotamia, whence it is from time to time imported with I. Gatesii. It was first sent to England apparently by the Rev. 0. H. Parry and has flowered in more than one garden in this neighbourhood. Unfortunately in this light sandy soil the plants seemed gradually to lose their vigour until now they have almost all succumbed.

The same fate has befallen other plants that have been received by Messrs Van Tubergen from the same locality. Fortunately I was able to obtain seeds from the original plants and hope that the seedlings will take more kindly than did their parents to their surroundings and to the climatic conditions prevailing here.

I. mesopotami'ca was one of the parents, I. pallz'da dalmati'ca being the other, of the fine hybrid named Carthusian, which was raised some years ago and exhibited in London by Mr J. W. Marshall, a former colleague and neighbour.

I. mesopotami'ca is distinguished from I. cypr£ana by its broad foliage, by the spathes, which are only slightly scarious in the upper part at flowering time, by the shorter perianth tube and by the shorter and less prominent beard. These differences are scarcely sufficient to separate two species but the plants are certainly distinct horticulturally if not botanically, and it seemed better therefore to describe them under different names, even if a better knowledge of the plants leads to their being eventually regarded as mere varieties of one species.

The Iris grown in France under the name of I. Ricardi was found in a garden near Jerusalem and is apparently only a form of I. mesopotami'ca. In warm climates, in the south of France for instance, in the heavy limestone soil, this Iris is magnificent and, when crossed with various bearded species and hybrids, has given rise to a series of fine plants, much larger and sturdier than the usual so-called "German" Irises. Unfortunately, it is only in warm sheltered positions in heavy calcareous soil that these fine hybrids seem capable of doing really well in England.
The Gardeners' Chronicle 73: 237' 21. Oct. 1922 illustrated;
Scudder 1933; Oakhurst 1939;


Mardin Iris; In the trade often confused with Iris cypriana and with Iris trojana. See 'Ricardi'


Iris mesopotamica cultivars are;


  • Iris mesopotamica crosses
    • Iris lutescens X Iris mesopotamica 'Autumn Gleam'
    • IB X Iris mesopotamica 'Frieda Mohr'
    • Iris mesopotamica X Iris germanica 'Eglamour' 'Mme Claude Monet'
    • Iris germanica X Iris mesopotamica 'Father Time'
    • Iris mesopotamica X Iris pallida 'Andree Autissier' 'Blanc Bleute' 'Mlle Jeanne Bel' 'Mlle Schwartz'
    • Iris pallida X Iris mesopotamica 'Carthusian'
    • Iris mesopotamica X TB 'Algol' 'Amador' 'Arsace' 'Atolia' 'Clement Desormes' 'Cornuault' 'Cucamonga' 'Edith Cavell' 'Esplendido' 'Fismes' 'Flavesard' 'Gargantue' 'Gen. Gallieni' 'Hautefeuille' 'Jacinto' 'J. B. Dumas' 'Lepinoux' 'Leverrier' 'Marguerite Gaudichau' 'Marguerite Maron' 'Mauna Loa' 'M. Brun' 'Megus' 'Menetrier' 'Mme Durand' 'Mme Lamouche' 'Mons. Chaber' 'Mopsa' 'Nemo' 'Olivier Perthuis'
    • TB X Iris mesopotamica 'Balboa' 'Conquistador' 'Coronado' 'Crucible' 'El Capitan' 'Moonlight Dream'
    • Iris mesopotamica X Amas 'Magnifica'
    • Iris iberica X Iris mesopotamica 'Ib-Ric'
    • Regeliocyclus X Iris mesopotamica 'Allegria' 'Antinea' 'Micheline Charraire' 'Paliano' 'Peronne' 'Pont-A-Mousson' 'Pontassieve' 'Pontedera' 'Predappio' 'Primavera' 'Priverno' 'Professor Scheubel' 'René Denis' 'Renée De Laborde' 'Ricardi Fonce' 'Ric-Ib' 'Rosado' 'San Gabriel' 'Santa Barbara' 'Saul' 'Saul Of Tarsus' 'Souvenir de Lœtitia Michaud' 'Trinidad' '27 Avril' 'Venosa'
    • ¼ Iris mesopotamica crosses MELDORIC OSPREY PURISSIMA

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-02-08
Topic revision: r14 - 21 Nov 2018, af.83
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