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■ (SPEC) Iris willmottiana Fos.

1901, Botanical author Foster

Iris willmottiana Foster. ( Sir Michael Foster, 1901, Eaetern Turkestan); Subgenus Scorpiris, (Juno); Color Code-B2L; Flowers lavender or pale purple, blotched white, blade of falls with darker purple and white central ridge, Spring flowering; (2n=21);

See below:
AucheriBaumfalk sample.jpgIris-willmottiana-41.jpgIris-willmottiana-Murrain1.jpgIris-willmottiana-Peter Taggart.jpgIris-willmottiana-Walker.jpgIris-willmottiana-Zera.jpgIris willmottiana KWW 1.jpgiriswillmottiana01.jpgjuno willmottiana Skyline.jpgSkylineJB.JPGWillmottiana-T Hall.jpgWillmottiana Gard Chron 1901.jpg


The Gardeners' Chronicle 29: 261. 1901, Foster offers the following note;

"I have received from Messrs. Van Tubergen of Haarlem, Holland, a charming ittle Iris, which seems to me to be, for the garden, at least distinctly a new one. The habit is that of I. caucasica, and this it resembles in the size, shape, arrangement, horny margin of the leaves; the surface of the leaf is perhaps, more glistening, devoid of the glaucous sheen, but otherwise I can see no marked difference between the two. The flowers, four to six on the scape, as in I. caucasica, are, as in it, sessile. The color of the flower is, however, wholly different instead of being yellow, it is lavender, or some similar tint of diluted purple, with blotch-white, mingled with dark marks of a deeper lavender blade of the fall. The general form of - flower is that of I. caucasica, and one might - tempted to regard it as a blue (or purple) form of I. caucasica. But there are differences besides those of color. Not only is the flower rather smaller than that of I. caucasica, but also the lateral expansions of the claw of the fall are less marked than in I. caucasica, and are not transparent; in this respect the new plant approximates I. orchioides, and indeed it stands somewhat midway between that and I. caucasica. the spathe valves, again, are not inflated, as in I. caucasica, but narrow, as in I. orchioides. The crests of the style, too, are triangular and small, - quadrate and large, as in I. caucasica. On these grounds, especially in view of the present condition of views as to what a species is, I think this new Iris fairly deserves to be given a specific name; and I venture to suggest the name Iris Willmottiana, in recognition of the gardening services of a well-known lady.
It was found growing in 1899 by the collector of Messrs. Van Tubergen, on the mountains of Eastern Turkestan, occurring at a considerable height- Sir Michael Foster
Van T. 1901 (introduced);
Gardeners' Chronicle 364, 1910;
Dykes, The Genus Iris, 1913;


Rootstock , a stout globose bulb of the usual Juno type.
Leaves , about eight in number, with a white horny edge, broad, not acutely channelled, somewhat falcate, of a deep green with a glossy surface.
Stem , 6 to 8 in. high, bearing usually 4 to 6 flowers but sometimes as many as 9, sessile in the axils of the leaves.
Spathe valves, narrow, not inflated, green, 1t-2 in. long.
Pedicel , very short.
Ovary, trigonal.
Tube , 2 in. long, triangular in section, becoming broader in the upper part.
Falls. The slightly winged haft contracts gradually into the oblong blade. The colour on the haft is of a pale reddish shade of purple veined with blue-violet on white along the centre. The blade is of some shade of blue with a patch of white marked with blotches and veins of a deeper shade. The colour varies considerably and may be a deep lavender, blue-purple, turquoise blue or even wholly white.
Standards, small, depressed, ending in a pointed tooth, flanked by two rounded projections.
Styles, keeled, narrower than the haft, the wings of which, however, do not curl round the styles as in I. persica.
Crests, small, triangular or subquadrate, erect.
Stigma , entire, oblong, conspicuous.
Filaments , whitish, sometimes tinged with mauve.
Anthers, cream.
Pollen , cream.
Capsule , trigonal, oblong, with thin papery walls.
Seeds , spherical, brown, wrinkled.


This very distinct Iris is obviously closely allied to I. caucasica. It differs from that species in the broader, less acutely channelled leaves, of a darker green, in the less developed lateral expansions on the haft of the falls, in the narrow uninflated spathes. The colour, too, is wholly different and the blotched markings on the white patch on the blade of the fall are quite characteristic. My experience of its cultivation has been that it makes fewer offsets and grows less vigorously than the other tall J unos. This may be due to the fact that it is very floriferous and that the energies of the plant are therefore exhausted in producing the flowers. But, on the other hand, seedlings also grow very slowly. Possibly it needs a heavy soil, and I incline to think from its appearance in other gardens that its lack of vigour here may be due to the extremely sandy character of the soil.
1909; Barr 1903; Grull. 1907; Van W. 1912; Wal. 1913;
A.M., R.H.S. 1901, shown by Will.; Hort. Dir. 43: 56. 1902;


Willmott Iris.


Chromosome counts

2n=21 Simonet 1952.

Juno willmottiana (Foster) Vved., Fl. Uzbekistan. 1: 518 (1941). ----





Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: Region:
Cultivation: seems to be the same as most bearded irises with perhaps a special emphasis on good drainage


AucheriBaumfalk sample.jpgIris-willmottiana-41.jpgIris-willmottiana-Murrain1.jpgIris-willmottiana-Peter Taggart.jpgIris-willmottiana-Walker.jpgIris-willmottiana-Zera.jpgIris willmottiana KWW 1.jpgiriswillmottiana01.jpgjuno willmottiana Skyline.jpgSkylineJB.JPGWillmottiana-T Hall.jpgWillmottiana Gard Chron 1901.jpg

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-- Main.RPries - 2010-04-20
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
AucheriBaumfalk_sample.jpgjpg AucheriBaumfalk_sample.jpg manage 108 K 14 Jan 2015 - 15:56 BobPries Sampled from Baumfalk photo to show leaf edge
Iris-willmottiana-41.jpgjpg Iris-willmottiana-41.jpg manage 60 K 19 Jan 2015 - 12:18 BobPries Hans Achilles photo
Iris-willmottiana-Murrain1.jpgjpg Iris-willmottiana-Murrain1.jpg manage 47 K 14 Jan 2015 - 16:52 BobPries Jim Murrain photo
Iris-willmottiana-Peter_Taggart.jpgjpg Iris-willmottiana-Peter_Taggart.jpg manage 117 K 14 Jan 2015 - 17:20 BobPries Peter Taggart photo
Iris-willmottiana-Walker.jpgjpg Iris-willmottiana-Walker.jpg manage 79 K 14 Jan 2015 - 17:19 BobPries Ken Walker photo
Iris-willmottiana-Zera.jpgjpg Iris-willmottiana-Zera.jpg manage 121 K 19 Jan 2015 - 12:21 BobPries Sean Zera photo
Iris_willmottiana_KWW_1.jpgjpg Iris_willmottiana_KWW_1.jpg manage 70 K 02 Mar 2015 - 04:19 Main.KWalker Photo by Ken Walker
SkylineJB.JPGJPG SkylineJB.JPG manage 84 K 19 Apr 2013 - 13:27 Main.Betsy881 Photo by John Baumfalk
Willmottiana-T_Hall.jpgjpg Willmottiana-T_Hall.jpg manage 158 K 19 Jan 2015 - 12:24 BobPries Tony Hall photo
Willmottiana_Gard_Chron_1901.jpgjpg Willmottiana_Gard_Chron_1901.jpg manage 84 K 21 Nov 2013 - 18:42 BobPries Biodiversity Heritage Library
iriswillmottiana01.jpgjpg iriswillmottiana01.jpg manage 56 K 08 Oct 2014 - 19:09 Main.TLaurin Photo by Kirsten
juno willmottiana Skyline.jpgjpg juno willmottiana Skyline.jpg manage 81 K 06 Apr 2019 - 22:06 Main.Betsy881 Photo by John Baumfalk
Topic revision: r15 - 06 Apr 2019, Betsy881
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