I would be very interested to see the papers published in Croatia.
Where were they published?
I would be very skeptical about cengialtii, illyrica, and pseudopallida
actually representing true distinct biological species, and will take some
convincing. I would think more likely that they are local expressions
of a range of variation seen in a single species. I know the
propensity in recent decades for many European workers to treat local
populations at species ranking when it isn't deserved, so this adds to my
skepticism. On the other hand, I don't know these plants in the wild, so I
would like to learn more, and I do keep my mind (somewhat) open.
As for the question "what is the parentage of 'Pink Opal', I don't think it
was recorded anywhere. On the other hand, I don't think Sass worked with
that large a range of diploids, and it seems most likely that it is just a
selected seedling of I. pallida. I. pallida is a very distinct species,
and even a trace of genetics from other species usually shows up obviously in
the morphology of hybrid offspring. When a plant shows only I.
pallida traits, it seems most likely that the plant is indeed pure I.
I will not argue that it is important to make the distinction that it is
(probably) not a wild collected plant - it is important. Also, I certainly
wouldn't suggest that if one is going to study a species that a plant of unknown
origins should be used, in fact it should NOT. Still if it barks like a
pallida and walks like a pallida, it probably is a pallida. I think it is
important also to keep track of cultivars that appear to be of species origin,
for numerous reasons; however, I do agree that those of unknown provenance (most
of them) need to be designated as such as well.
Now, going back the pallida, illyrica, cengialtii, pseudopallida
thing. If a plant is a mix of these, I would still call it I. pallida, at
least until I'm convinced that these are really different species.
However, most of the I. pallida cultivars do not show traits from these other
variants and just look like typical I. pallida.
I have to say that 'Dalmatica' looks quite typical for I. pallida
too. The fact that it is male sterile (undeveloped pollen) is not
necessarily indicative of hybrid origins, but it does make this clone pretty
useless as a pollen source. This bad pollen trait is not unique to
'Dalmatica', and it could be explained by a number of factors. 'Dalmatica'
does produce good seed, and when crossed with another I. pallida there seems to
be no evidence that it has anything in its ancestry other than I. pallida.