Aren't some of the 40 chromosome I. lutescens / chamaeiris types quite dark in color?
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Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2004 12:05 PM
I answered my own question--there is a very good photo of Kochii (under "k" in Quick Fix section of the HIPS site), and the notation to the side mentions it was collected in Italy in the late 1800's. The photo of the individual flower does not begin to suggest the purple glow of an established clump in bloom, however.
The intensity of the color suggests there was something different from the *pallida*-*variegata* hybrid stock or the mediterranean tetraploids mixed into its ancestry--one would suspect the balkan dwarfs and *aphylla* to be involved, despite the height of Kochii itself.
I wonder if the Etruscans or Romans collected and moved irises around--they certainly would have had access to *aphylla* in the wild out in the remote eastern European colonies, let alone the tetraploids growing in the eastern part of the Empire, and could have deliberately or accidentally contributed to the development of very dark purples among the IB hybrids.
Neil Mogensen z 7 western NC