Тема: Iris germanica

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The name Iris germanica it used for three categories of irises with height of stems 50-90 cm. The first are early archaic hybrids /before 1800/ having 2n=44. They have limited fertility and a specific branching with hardly more than two 1-flowered lateral branches. If they produce pods, they contain up to 5 or little more seeds. They may appear in nature as escapes from culture, in each locality is however almost always one clone only. In Průhonice we use for this group the name I. germanica s. s. /sensu stricto/. We suppose they represent true Iris germanica of C. Linné. The flower color is blue – purple or white, never yellow.

Other category is very similar; therefore they are among botanists often identified as I. germanica, too. They flower however at least 1 week later, have 2n=48, are fully fertile, more branched and occur in real wild populations in the three-country territory where Albania, Greece and Slavic Macedonia are neighboring. Some of them became garden plants in Southern Europe and a few /in reality 1-3 clones/ became lately cultivated worldwide. Some tetraploid irises from East Mediterranean territory were described as further species. There does not exist any evidence about their hybrid origin, even if some hybridization in their history is not excluded. In Průhonice we use for both these groups the name I. germanica s. l. /sensu lato/. Their flower color is blue – purple or white, never yellow.

Some gardeners use the name of I. germanica for any bearded garden iris. These irises are developed from I. pallida, I. variegata and from tetraploids - I. germanica s. l., species  from East Mediterranean territory. They have little together with I. germanica s. s. Their chromosome counts: 2n = 24 /diploid cultivars with smaller flowers/ or 2n = 48, tetraploids with larger flowers. Almost all modern large flowered cultivars belong to tetraploids.
Their flowers may have any color except poppy-red.