So as not to detract from the writings of Sir Michael Foster I have kept seperate the following additional information.
A HANDBOOK OF GARDEN IRISES By W. R. DYKES, M.A., L.-ès-L.
SECRETARY OF THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. AUTHOR OF "THE GENUS IRIS," Chapter 16, CERTAIN TALL BEARDED IRISES.
Under this heading it seems advisable to group and to attempt to describe and distinguish a number of Irises, which may or may not have an equally good claim to specific rank as those already described. It has already been explained that they are nowhere known to be certainly wild but, as the names are in frequent use among gardeners, it seems best to give particulars which it is hoped will enable each one to be recognised.
I. Biliotti. Foster, 1887. Named after Alfred Biliotti, a British Consul at Trebizond on the Black Sea, from whom Foster received plants in 1884. This is practically a germanica with long, narrow green spathes, not scarious. The falls are red-purple with brownish veins on white on the haft and the standards are of a bluer shade. The style crests are of an opal colour. The leaves are of a peculiar shape, being narrow at the base and having their widest point above the middle.
THE IRIS Brian Mathew.
The Species of Iris.
I. Biliottii Foster. This grows in the Black Sea region of Turkey, especially in the valley leading from Trabzon to Gümüşhane where it is much use on graves. It has stems about 60-80cm in height with two or three branches 5-10cm long. The acute bracts are grey-green with transparent papery tips. Like I.germanica the flowers are scented and purple, the falls are rather reddish purple and the standards of a bluer-purple shade. The haft of the falls is veined brown-purple on white ground and the beard is white with yellow tips to the hairs.
I was shown this plant growing near Gümüşhane by T Baytop and can confirm that it is apparently confined to cemeteries and does not produce seeds. Rhizomes collected by us were brought back to England where they grow vigourously and flower freely a few weeks after I.germanica.
HANDBOOK OF THE lRIDEÆ.
J. G. BAKER, F. R. S., F.L. S.,
KEEPER OF THE HERBARIUM OF THE ROYAL GARDENS, KEW.
126. I. Biliotti
Foster in Gardeners Chronicle, 1887, v. 738.—
Rhizome as in I. germanica. Leaves darker green, more distinctly striated and more rigid. Stem several-headed, 2½-3 ft. long. Spathes 2-3-flowered, 3 in. long, ventricose, scariose only towards the tip at the flowering time ; pedicel very short. Perianth-tube ½ in. long ; falls obovate-cuneate, 3-3½ in. long, 1½ in. broad, reddish purple with many dark veins ; beard white, tipped with yellow ; standards as long, orbicular-unguiculate, 2 in. broad, bright blue-purple. Style-branches 1½ in. long; crests deltoid. Capsule ellipsoid, 2½ in. long, deeply 6 -grooved.
Hab. Trebizond. Received alive by Dr. Foster from Consul Biliotti. Very near I. germanica. Flowers with us in June.
Photo credit Lady Christine Skelmersdale and be sure to visit the Broadleigh Gardens Web Site.