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Re: Is This Florentina?

From: "Edmundas Kondratas" <stogutis@kaunas.omnitel.net>

It is one of most interesting things for me on the "iris-photo" list. Almost
it is no doubt your iris is <florentina>, but here I like to do some
detailed explanations. There are sometimes confused two I.florentina
forms-one as a form of I.germanica wich is also desribed as I.germanica
"Florentina" and next an albino form of I.albicans. To see differences
between both theese forms I prefer to use descriptions by Brian Mathew in
his book "The Iris"
I.germanica "Florentina": ....."Florentina" has beautiful, scented, flowers
of a very faintly bluish shade rather than pure white and on the falls there
is some greenish-yellow veining on the haft, and a deep yellow beard. Like
I.germanica the inflorescence is branched and theese branches are quite
long, immediately distinguishing it from I.albicans in which the lateral
flowers are sesile."
I.albicans Lange: ........"It is a stocky plant, usually 30-60cm in height
in the wild, with short broad (1.5-2.5cm wide), very grey-green
overwintering leaves which are abruptly narrowed to an incurving tip. The
stem has one to three terminal flowers and is often unbranched but may have
one sessile lateral flower head. The sweetly scented flowers are about 8-9cm
in diameter in either pure white or blue, produced from very broad blunt
bracts which are green or purplish tinted in the lower half or two-thirds,
and papery-transparent in the upper part. The beard is of white hairs,
tipped with yellow, and there is a greenish-yellow flush to the hafts of
both the fall and standards. The blue-flowered form has been given name
"Madonna". "Florentina is easily distinguised from I.albicans because the
bracts are almost wholly brown and pappery at flowering time, the lateral
flowers are stemmed and the flowers are very slightly flushed with pale
blue, not as pure a white as in the white form of I.albicans. Additionally
"Florentina" has narrower leaver which are greener in colour."
From many signs I see your iris is closer to I.albicans: it seems in photo
the lateral flowers are sesile, bracts green only upper part
papery-transparent, greenish yellow flush to the hafts on falls and
standards, which is well visible and white beard tipped yellow. There is not
visible character and colour of leaves.
My speculations it is rather I.albicans instead I.germanica "Florentina" is
supported by some facts. I have found somewhere in literature when writting
part "Iris in culture" for my book about iris for Lithuanian gardeners which
remain in
draft. Here is translation: "There is interesting for some species the way
of their distribution. The native land of I.albicans is Arabian peninsula.
The Musulman nomads have spreaded this species along Mediteranien sea bank
of African continent from where at the time of  Moors domination it was
introduced to the Spain.When America was found I.albicans was imported by
Spain conquestadors to Mexico and from there to California where at this
time it can be found running semi wild."
It is need better examination of your iris and maybe you will become owner
of an old Arabian traweller descendent.
Edmundas Kondratas
SSI, BIS member
Kaunas, Lithuania, zone 5
----- Original Message -----
From: "John I Jones" <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
To: "iris-photo" <iris-photos@onelist.com>; "iris-talk"
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2000 4:08 AM
Subject: [iris-photos] Is This Florentina?

> From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
> This popped up in a group of rhizomes that I salvaged from the deserted
> site of an old California town (nothing left there). I had seen some
> purple ones growing there for several years. Small, over grown, in the
> same poor soil for probably 100 years. Last summer I finally got around
> to digging up a few samples. They were all Crimson King, except for this
> one rhizome. which is a different form and color. I suspect it is I.
> florentina. Thoughts?
> Those of you on iris-talk can see the picture at:
> http://www.hort.net/jijones/UNK3-00.JPG
> John                     | "There be dragons here"
>                          |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
>                          |  to indicate the edge of the known world.
> ________________________________________________
> USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay)
> Fremont, California, USA
> Visit my website at:
> http://members.home.net/jijones
> President, Westbay Iris Society
> Director, Region 14 of the AIS
> AIS Special Committee for Electronic Member Services
> Subscribe to iris-talk at:
> http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/iris-talk
> Archives at: http://www.mallorn.com/lists/iris-talk/
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