Perhaps this is more appropriate for the species Iris chat group, but it is
directly related to this vein now, and I thought it might be of
interest here. The following Crested and Bearded species are recorded as
crossing with on another. This is almost certainly not a complete record,
since people are always daubing pollen, and since I only checked a few
books. The order listed (first vs. second) is not meant to imply male or
female parent, it is just the way they were listed in the books, and I don't
know which way they were crossed (perhaps both in some cases?). The cross
of I. tectorum with I. wattii was listed in both orders. Chromosome
numbers are varied from species to species, and this would certainly affect the
results, especially the fertility of the offspring; both adding to and
I. gracilipes X I. cristata
I. gracilipes X I. tectorum
I. japonica X I. confusa
I. tectorum X I. pallida
I. tectorum X I. [pallida] cengialtii
I. tectorum X I. cristata
I. tectorum X I. wattii
I. verna X I. pallida
I. wattii X I. cristata
I. wattii X I. tectorum
I also thought I had heard of I. cristata X I. pallida, but I have
rediscovered no published record of it.
It is interesting that none of these is recorded as crossing with
any true Beardless Iris.
This implies relatedness between these species, and would imply to me that
it might be worth trying nearly all of the Crested Iris (Evansias or Lophiris)
with bearded Iris. While they have generally been classed as part of
subgenus Limniris (Beardless Iris), I've never agreed with this, and have always
thought them to belong more properly to subgenus Iris (or the Bearded Iris;
including Pogons, Arils, Regalias, Pseudoregalias, and Psammiris). While
limited in scope, the hybridization record implies that this is true.
I think any of these species might be worth a shot at crossing with bearded
species. None of the Crested Iris would be easy for me to grow here in New
Mexico, but they do represent a wide diversity in cultural
requirements, and characters of growth and morphology.
There are a lot of possibilities among the many species of subgenus Iris and the
Crested species, and I suspect there is lots of potential for some really
interesting hybrids, perhaps with some good horticultural potential.
I've wondered if Section Chinensis (at least in part), I. ruthenica, and
the Junos are related too, but I don't know much about these, besides
having seen a few in flower once or twice.
To take it a step further, I think the whole assemblage of bearded/crested
species may perhaps be more closely akin, than usually allowed for, to
some of those "primitive" Iris that are often separated from the genus Iris
entirely. It might be fun to see if any of those would hybridize with any
of these as well.