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Re: CULT: New Mexican iris on the Coast

From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>

From: sidneygardener 

<< In the Cornell Bulletin 112 is says I. cypriana's spathe valves re
broad, membranous and nearly wholly scarious, but it says I. germanica's
spathe valves are broad and navicular much flushed with purple and scarious
in the upper. Help me out here. What does navicular mean? Do some I.
germanica's have snaky stalks? 
Isn't this fun. I love detective work.>>


One of the challenges of detective work is that the suspect can assume a
variety of disguises. Here is J. Marion Shull's description of the spathe
valves of I. cypriana (from "Rainbow Fragments", 1931): Spathe valves
similar to I. mesopotamica (2 to 2and 1/2 inches long, green, thin,
somewhat membranous), but only slightly scarious in the upper part at
flowering time.

Nigel Service, who made a special trip to Cyprus in 1996 to observe the
beast in its native habitat, describes the spathe valves of I. cypriana
thusly (from SIGNA, Fall '98): The spathe valves at the terminal bud are
scarious by the time flowering starts and those on the branches soon become

As for I. germanica, Shull agrees with Cornell: Spathes 1 and 1/2 to 2
inches long, scarious in the upper half and more or less flushed with

Navicular means "boat-shaped" (like a canoe).

For I. trojana, Shull says: Spathe valves flushed with purple, scarious
only at the tip, 2 and 1/2 to 3 inches long, narrow.

To recapitulate, even with the disagreement over how scarious the spathe
valves of I. cypriana are, if there is a purple flush, it is not cypriana
or mesopotamica, but could be germanica or trojana. It sounds as if the
spathe valves of germanica would be more scarious than those of trojana, as
well as being shorter and broader.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2)
where the 4 inches of snow that fell yesterday is not melting very rapidly,
since the thermometer barely reached 32 degrees at noon today.




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