Spanish iris etc
Sat, 22 Jul 2006 09:29:42 PDT
On 21 Jul 06, at 14:18, James Waddick wrote:

> 	Traditionally Spanish Iris have been selections of I. xiphium PERIOD.
> 	Likewise, English iris are selections of I. latifolia PERIOD
> 	But, both of these and other related species* have 
> contributed to the  complex of Dutch Iris

The Dutch irises are generally considered not to have I. latifolia in 
their ancestry, but Mathews (quoted below) admits the possibility.

> 	Theoretically there can be NO hybrid English or Spanish Iris, 
> by definition these would be Dutch Iris (all hybrids).

I think you contradict yourself. A hypothetical hybrid "Dutch" iris 
with I. latifolia in its ancestry would also be a hybrid English iris.

> 	Of course you need the right climate too and we discussed the 
> difficulties of long term success with Dutch iris in the last year or 
> so. Few people succeed.

Iris latifolia does fairly well in Victoria. The cultivar "Mount 
Blanc" has done well for me for many years, and the common blue-
violet form (well, for some values of "common") I've seen growing in 
a front garden under conditions of total neglect. However, in my own 
garden the common blue-violet form survives but does not flower 
because of competition from trees and shrubs and perhaps lack of sun.

Supposedly I. latifolia demands more water than I. xiphium and its 
hybrid offspring.

Bulbous irises are usually divided into several subgenera:

1. the reticulatas, aka subgenus /Hermodactyloides/ or genus 

2. the xiphions, aka subgenus /Xiphium/ or genus /Xiphium/

3. the junos, aka subgenus /Scorpiris/ or genus /Juno/

We find this 3-way classification of bulbous irises in Dykes' 
"Irises" (1912), Köhlein's "Iris" (1981, Eng. translation 1987), and 
Brian Mathews' "The Iris" (1981, rev. ed 1989). 

Whether these are subgenera or distinct genera is not of importance. 
For the purposes of the present discussion, it is only important to 
note that the xiphions, including "Spanish", "English", and "Dutch" 
irises form a natural group universally recognized.

Mathews says on p. 138 "There are also many garden hybrids betgween 
I. xiphium and I. tingitana, possibly also with I. latifolia 
influence, and these are known collectively as the "Dutch iris".

To recap:

I. xiphium = Spanish iris
I. latifolia = I. xiphioides = English iris
hybrids within the xiphion group = Dutch iris.

As for the wiki, seems to me that under "Iris", we'd do well to have 
a sub-page for each recognized subcategory, no matter what you might 
call them. The wiki would be most valuable if it recognized the 
disparities in naming and what level the subcategories should go at, 
while pointing out that the subcategories are universally accepted.

Mary Sue, shall I start work on synthesizing such a system?

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