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Re: Bloom report from Oz

From: Rick Tasco/Roger Duncan <randrcv@sierratel.com>

Ann Pearce wrote:
> From: Ann Pearce <jac@senet.com.au>
> Rick Tasco may be able to
> give you more information on the cretensis hybrid - it was his mention of it
> several months ago that prompted me to get one.  As I recall, he said it had
> a hyacinth-like scent.  I was unable to detect any scent on mine, but that
> may be a result of our different cultural conditions.

According to the BIS Guide to Species Iris, I. cretensis is a subspecies
of I. Unguicularis.  It's distribution is the Aegean islands of Crete
and possibly Saria.  It's habitat is in rocky places, on banks and in
dry scrub.  

My observations:  I can't recall if Cretensis had any fragrance, but
don't believe so.  The species Unguicularis is tremenduously fragrant
with an aroma reminiscent of hyacinths.  Cretensis is smaller than the
typical Unguicularis in all parts, flower and foliage.  The foliage is
somewhat grass like.  The flower is darker violet with more veining.  A
nice habit with Cretensis is the flower usually stands above the foliage
unlike the typical Unguicularis.  Easy to start from seed.

I have 5 pods on my Cretensis from an unknown large flowered
Unguicularis clone (remember the Lazica controversey last year).  These
pods are at ground level because that is where the ovary is. 
Unguicularis have very short or absent stems.  Flowers are held aloft by
an elongated perianth tube.     

Rick Tasco
Superstition Iris Gardens
Central California
Zone 8

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