Looks like a good I. germanica to me, but I'm
not very good at recognizing the individual clones (ie. cultivars). Some
of the old tetraploid TB cultivars look very similar, but they generally are
larger in size and flower later (with other TB's).
The name I. germanica is widely misused for any
tall(ish) bearded Iris; sort of a generic garbage can name that shouldn't be
used because it is totally incorrect. You will see it attached to many
cultivars that have nothing to do with I. germanica.
Real I. germanica isn't very popular in
cultivation now, and the most common places to see it are old farmsteads,
abandoned lots, and other "old" places where
they have hung on over the years. A few people like me really appreciate
them though. They are tough, easy to grow, and live for ever on neglect,
and still they put on a great show every spring. No giant flaring falls,
ruffles, or space age stuff, but I tend to not like all that anyway.
I. germanica is a very old hybrid and
the parentage is debated, but it is generally a white to purple IB or small TB
with old fashioned flowers, and the bloom time is early, with other
IB's. I. florentina and I. albicans are pretty much the same thing, only
I lot of the old IB hybrids such as those of
Sass are pretty much the same in appearance, but often come in other
Personally I think I. germanica is a hybrid of
I. lutescens (or other related 40 chromosome species of the Mediterranean) and
introduced TB species from further east that were cultivated and transplanted
even thousands of years ago. Few of the TB species naturalized (though a
few occur in places like Cyprus and Spain), but the hybrids seem to be pretty
vigorous, widespread, and self perpetuating on the north side of the
I. germanica has 44 chromosomes, and tends to
not make seeds very well.
There is a good ongoing article in the SIGNA
publication that is a good reference into how they look.
Crimson King is a common dark cultivar, and
Eleanor Roosevelt (an early IB hybrid) looks like one.
I have what for all the world looks like a
yellow I. germanica, but I'm sure it's an old garden hybrid. Haven't
been able to find the name on it.
Personally, I'd love it if somebody posted good
photos of all the old I. germanica cultivars that are in cultivation.
Mine are all confused, and I can't tell which is which for the most
part. Written descriptions aren't much help.