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■ (SPEC) Iris sanguinea Hornem ex Donn.

1814, Botanical author Hornemann

Iris sanguinea Hornem ex Donn. (Collected Carl Thunberg, 1794, Manchuria, Korea, Japan); Section Limniris, Series Sibericae. Height 12-28" (30-70 cm); Color Code-B1M; Reddish-purple flowers; Formerly Iris orientalis Transactions of the Linnaean Society 2: 328. 1794. but name had already been used for a series spuriae Iris.

See below:

Irissanguinea03.jpgsanguinea01.jpgsanguinea02.JPGsanguinea03.JPGSanguinea Bot Mag 1604.jpgsanguinea seed.jpgSnguinea from Dykes Genus Iris.jpg


Iris sanguinea Donn ex Hornem., Hort. Bot. Hafn. 1: 58 (1813).
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 39: tab. 1604. 1813, offers the following; "Differs from all the known varieties of sibirica in the redness of the foliage during the earlier stage of growth, in the size, colour, and fugitiveness of the flowers, which are said not to last more than an hour or two, as well as by a shorter peduncle and striate stem. Probably a distinct species. We have added a mark of doubt to the synonyms adduced to this plant, merely on account of the uncertainty of its habitat. It agrees in all points with the description of Thungberg's orientalis, at first considered by him to be the same with sibirica. Introduced by George Hibbert, Esq. About 1790; said to have come from Siberia; but upon inquiry, that circumstance appeared doubtful.
Our drawing was made from a plant derived from Mr. Hibbert's original stock, which flowered in June last, at Messrs. Whitely and Brames Nursery, King's-Road, Fulham. If really from Siberia, it is most probably to be found also in China and Japan. -Gawler"
Macoun; Farr 1912; Dykes, The Genus Iris 20. 454. Oct. 1926, illustrated; Sheets 1928; Bay St. 1937; Hocker 1938; Homestead 1938; A.I.S. 1939 checklist uses the name Iris orientalis for this 'Siberian Iris' and conserves the name Iris ochroleuca for the spuria iris now called Iris orientalis; Mathew uses Iris sanguinea Donn. as published first in Hort. Cant. ed. VI, 17; Hornem. Hort. Hafn. i. 58.; Fig.11. as do Waddick & Zhao, in Iris of China, 1992, illustrated in color.
Chromosome Counts: 2n=28, Simonet, 1928; 2n=26,28 Lee, 1970; 2n=28, Starodubtsev & Mironova, 1990; 2n=28, Huang, S.-f. & Zhao, 1995.
Dykes; the Genus Iris:Iris sanguineaObservations.

The relationship of this plant to I. sibirica has already been discussed at some length under the observations on I. sibirica (see p. 22). It is impossible at present to decide whether it should be looked upon as a distinct species or merely as a different combination of Mendelian characters. It is doubtful whether the form of I. orientalis, of which a flower is illustrated on Plate I and which is often imported from Japan, is really a wild form or whether it may not be the result of horticultural breeding and selection in Japan, for the larger herbarium specimens seem all to come from the neighbourhood of the more thickly populated districts. On the other hand, I. sibirica and I. orientalis vary considerably in the vigour of their growth and in the size of their flowers according to the nature of the soil in which they are grown and to the character of the particular season.It is therefore not impossible that the small herbarium specimens really represent plants, which under more favourable conditions of growth, would develop to the size and vigour of that illustrated.

When I. orientalis is grown in poor conditions of soil, it approximates to I. sibirica in size and growth and for this reason it is impossible to decide, in the absence of capsules and seeds, whether the Eastern Asiatic plant is really I. orientalis or I. sibirica. They are here classed as I. orientalis and, if this is a mistake, it is at least curious that I. sibirica should be found nowhere between European Russia and the neighbourhood of Nertschinsk.

Whatever the truth may be, the fact remains that as garden plants typical I. sibirica and I. orientalis are very different. I. orientalis with its flowers partly hidden among the leaves or at t most only slightly raised above them is scarcely as ornamental a plant as I. sibirica. By hybridisation, plants intermediate between these two extremes can easily be obtained and the best garden plants are probably those that combine the growth and inflorescence of I. sibirica with the larger and more brilliant flowers of I. orientalis.

jAs in the case of I. sibirica, several garden forms with white flowers are known. One is usually called Snow Queen, but in my experience it is less vigorous and floriferous than a plant which Japanese nurserymen supply as I. laevigata alba.

Self-fertilised seeds of the white forms come true to the white colour and we may therefore i look upon the absence of colour as a Mendelian recessive character.

This I. orientalis of Thunberg must be carefully distinguished from the I. orientalis of Miller by which was probably meant I. ochroleuca, a relative of I. spuria (see p. 63). Miller's name is based on a confusion between a Pogoniris and an Apogon and cannot therefore stand."


Other synonyms: Iris haematophylla, Fisch.; Iris nertchinskia, Lodd.; Iris Sanguinea, Ker.; Iris sibirica sanguinea; Iris sibirica var. orientalis, Baker; Iris sibirica var. sanguinea, Ker.; Xiphium orientale, Shrenk.


Iris sanguinea Hornem ex Donn. Iris sanguinea has the following cultivars;


Iris sanguinea crosses;

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region: Siberia to Japan

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-02-11
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Irissanguinea03.jpgjpg Irissanguinea03.jpg manage 72 K 19 Sep 2014 - 16:02 UnknownUser Photo scanned from the Adele and Lewis Lawyer slide collection
Sanguinea_Bot_Mag_1604.jpgjpg Sanguinea_Bot_Mag_1604.jpg manage 230 K 27 Feb 2014 - 16:52 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
Snguinea_from_Dykes_Genus_Iris.jpgjpg Snguinea_from_Dykes_Genus_Iris.jpg manage 27 K 20 Apr 2010 - 12:57 UnknownUser Iris sanguinea fro Dykes Genus Iris
sanguinea01.jpgjpg sanguinea01.jpg manage 52 K 17 Jul 2015 - 14:07 UnknownUser Photo by Barry Blyth-Australia
sanguinea02.JPGJPG sanguinea02.JPG manage 358 K 13 Mar 2018 - 23:03 UnknownUser Photo by Joe Pye Weed's Garden-seed pod of I. Sanguinea
sanguinea03.JPGJPG sanguinea03.JPG manage 485 K 13 Mar 2018 - 23:07 UnknownUser Photo by Joe Pye Weed's Garden-seed pods of I. Sanguinea and I. Sabirica
sanguinea_seed.jpgjpg sanguinea_seed.jpg manage 40 K 29 Sep 2010 - 18:20 UnknownUser seed
Topic revision: r31 - 11 Jul 2022, Harloiris
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