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Re: Lake Iris


The Lake Iris is indeed Iris lacustris, a dwarf species even tinier than
the more common Iris cristata.  Note that it is a SPECIES, not a
SUBSPECIES.  A species is a genetically distinct, reproductively isolated
population, while a subspecies is a recognizable population within a
species that can interbreed with other subspecies.  Evansia is the
technical name of the section of the genus Iris that contains crested
irises.

Lacustris (note spelling) is closely related to cristata but seems to
require different growing conditions.  I have not been successful with it
here in central Virginia.  A Michigan correspondent reports finding it in
the wild growing in pockets of black humus/cedar needles in granite rock.

The only garden selection I know of is a white one that is even smaller
still than the blue form.

Larry is right in questioning its status as "rare."  It seems to be
widespread in the Great Lakes States and in some areas occurs in large
mats.

Best wishes, Bill
___________________
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374







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