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Re: TB: REB: Spirit of Fiji

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] TB: REB: Spirit of Fiji
  • From: "David Ferguson" <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 14:08:17 -0600
  • Seal-send-time: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 14:08:17 -0600

If you are talking about purple foliage (and/or bracts) correlating with purple flowers, it does not.  A few of the smallish wild species of bearded Iris from Europe have purple on the base of the leaves, and sometimes the same ones, sometimes different ones, may have purple on the spathes.  In fact it is quite common to have purple leaf coloring with yellow flowers, as most I. variegata have purple leaf bases, and the yellow coloring in hybrid bearded Irises often comes from I. variegata ancestry.
Purple spathes is not uncommon in wild species either, and is often noticeable in I. aphylla, I. lutescens, I. croatica, etc. etc.  It is common in I. x germanica too.  Most of these species have most often white to purple flowers, but some are sometimes yellow too, and the yellow-flowering plants may have purple coloring on the spathes.  This seems inherited separately from flower color as well, and occurs in a number of bearded cultivars that are not purple.  I have a TB that is mostly pink (forget the name, need to check) and the spathes are among the darkest purplish of any cultivars that I grow.  As I recall, this one has PBF too.
There is also a separate trait that is sometimes called purple rhizomes (really the leaf sheath that surrounds the tuber is purple).  I've recently heard "purple-ringed" rhizomes too, which is slightly more accurate.  This is common in some of the dwarf bearded species, and is not correlated with flower color either.  It is commonly seen in dwarf bearded hybrids, and is moderately common in intermediate bearded cultivars as well.  The purple coloring occurs below the soil level, as apposed to above the soil level in those with "purple-based foliage".  It is not rare in cultivars to have both PBF and this trait on the same plant, but it is not yet particularly common.

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