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Re: CAT: Tempo Two

Dennis Kramb writes

>I just got a copy of the Tempo Two catalog and found a couple things I've
>never heard of before that now are on my "to die for" list. I know that
>Tempo Two can ship direct, but before I do that, I want to make sure these
>are not available in USA/Canada first.

>Iris albicans is something available at Tempo Two that has always been on
>my wish list. Is that one in trade here Up Over (opposite of Down Under) ?
>Blyth's description says "white flower with offwhite beards", but the
>photos I've seen that got me hooked on it were "white flower with bright
>yellow beard". Any comments on that?

I. albicans (species, Lange, 1860 [1837])
Distribution: Perhaps native of Yemen in Arabia and widely distributed by the Mohammedans. Spain, France, Crete, Cyprus, Asia Minor.
Tall bearded.
Color effect a self, S. and F. white.
S. pure white; shape, rounded oblong, narrowing suddenly; haft short, canaliculate, without hairs, faintly veined with yellow. F. white; haft white, faintly reticulated with greenish yellow veins which do not extend to blade; blade obovate, haft wedge-shaped. Minor parts: beard, front white hairs tipped with yellow, base deep yellow; style-branches ovoid, white, keeled; crest narrow, pointed, serrate; pollen cream-colored; spathe-valves navicular, broad, green, hardly scarious at all or only in upper third when the first flowers open, 1 1/2 in. long. Growth: rootstock a stout rhizome; habit compact; foliage, leaves ensiform, somewhat wider than those of I. germanica, thicker and more rigid, often twisted when full-grown, color glaucous; flowering stalks, stem 15-18 in. long, branched, inflorescence resembling that of I. germanica but the lateral flowers more closely set on shorter branches which are almost entirely concealed in broad green bracts, terminal head sometimes 3-flowered; tube equal to or slightly longer than ovary, pedicel very short; ovary 3/4 in. long, trigonal, with a slight grove on each face; stigma entire; filaments white, about equal in length to the cream colored anthers.
Outstanding qualities: compact branches of inflorescence, foliage stiffer and broader and more twisted than in I. germanica, no hairs on haft of standards, falls appear pointed due to curling. Synonyms: I. florentina, 1789, ? I. alba, 1798 (might be I. germanica var florentina). I. albicans var. Madonna, 1892, differs from the type only in its blue color and its purple-flushed spathes.


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