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Re: Hybridizers and dates.

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Hybridizers and dates.
  • From: CEMahan@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 09:35:43 -0600 (MDT)

In a message dated 97-04-09 03:35:19 EDT, you write:

<< Gerard may have described pallida but I do not think that one can ascibe
 the species to him. >>

If one looks looks under the first entry for pallida in the 1939 Check List
one will find the entry "pallida.  TB-M-B1M (Lam-1789-S.E. Europe); Gerarde
1596; Lam., Encycl, 3: 204. 1789: etc., etc."  

This entry means that Lamarck was the first to write a valid description of
the species, but that an earlier reference to an iris with this name is found
in "Gerarde"---whose name is often spelled incorrectly in plant literature.  

If one wants "real" confusion, look up DALMATICA in the 1939 Check List.  It
is identified as having been collected before 1600, with the first reference
being in Gerard (again, spelled incorrectly in the Check List).  The iris
that is meant by this entry in the 1939 Check List is the historic iris known
as "Pallida Dalmatica".  Unfortunately, the iris mentioned by Gerard could
not possibly be the cultivar "Pallida Dalmatica" which was still one of the
most popular iris cultivars in the 1920's. Dykes had already pronounced,
quite correctly, that the  Pallida Dalmatica of garden popularity was most
certainly of "modern" origin rather than being the iris mentioned by Gerard.
 Dykes was, of course, correct.  The entry for "DALMATICA" in the 1939 Check
List  is the sort of confusion that accrues when when choses to rely on
literature before  Carl von Linne, aka Linnaeus.  Three cheers for Linnaeus!

Clarence Mahan in VA

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