Iris collina resurrection

Lee Poulsen
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 20:08:44 PST
I've asked this of couple of other botanists, but have only gotten a noncommittal answer. I agree with Peter and wonder why variants, subspecies, etc. aren't taken more seriously. To me, the information that Jim gave about the Italian variant is really significant because living in California, I would most likely not give I. sintenisii a second thought as far as trying to grow it, since it sounds like the species is native to a part of Europe much colder and completely unlike my climate. But reading that the I. collina version of I. sintenisii is not only disjunct, but native to Italy which has a climate very similar to California's, causes me to take note and think about trying it. Maybe they're the same species and may even look and grow exactly alike. But if the one requires a continental climate with rainfall during the summer and very cold winters while the other grows in a summer dry climate with winter temperatures that rarely fall to or below freezing, then there must be enough difference in their genetic code to allow them to grow in quite different climate and rainfall patterns. It may not be enough to make them two different species. But the two variants might be different enough that one won't grow well or might not survive in the other habitat and vice versa. That seems important enough of a difference to keep track of scientifically to me. I bet there are other species that have variants or subspecies with analogously different yet important characteristics that have been subsumed into one species, with all this significant information lost or hidden away in old journals that aren't referenced any more.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

On Jan 28, 2013, at 10:24 AM, Peter Taggart wrote:

> I find the local forms of Iris fascinating, so much information is lost
> when the names of regional variants are sunk as synonyms!

> On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:24 PM, James Waddick <> wrote:
>>        The name I collina as used by Angelo is a patronym or local name
>> without validity (unpublished, even incorrectly) for I sintenisii. The only
>> place this name still seems to appear is on Italian sites to point out its
>> disjunct distribution from the main populations of this species to the
>> north and east.

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