Thursday, October 3, 2013

Iris Evansia, Iris Japonica, Crested Iris, BOURNE GRACEFUL

Medium size flower which is deep lilac-blue with strong orange-yellow signal surrounded by old gold to dark violet flecks and a violet border around the white signal area. The flowers are borne on distinctive green stems that become darker towards the bottom, but the plant itself has no canes. The long glossy leaves are ribbed and coloured purple at the base (PBF)

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1975,"An Iris Japonica Seedling", J.R.Ellis.
From pollination's of the Ledgers variety of Iris japonica with pollen from the plant recorded as the Capri form of Iris japonica ( B I S Yearbook 1966 page 138) a vigorous hybrid has been obtained which has been registered as 'Borne Graceful'. For the last two years this hybrid has been grown in a cool greenhouse where it has flowered profusely from the end of March to the beginning of June. The flowering spikes reaches a height of 4 feet and the flowers which are 2
½ inches to 3 inches across are pale mauve in colour with a deep yellow crests surrounded by deep mauve spots.
Cytologically, the hybrid has approximately 61 chromosomes and this is the highest chromosome number recorded in Evansia irises. The parental species, Ledgers variety and the 'Capri form' have a 54 and 31 chromosomes respectively and the higher chromosome number in the hybrids stems from the fact that neither parent forms are cytologically true species. Ledgers variety with 54 chromosomes has been reported by Chimphamba (Cytologia 38:501-514, 1973) to have a triploid chromosomal constitution and in crosses with I.cofusa give gametes with different chromosome which range from 24 to 30 chromosomes (unpublished data). The 'Capri form' of I.japonica was also by Chimphamba to have a chromosome complement indicative of hybrid origin. It is highly sterile because of meiotic difficulties, but produces a few functional pollen grains which, in all probability have not been reduced in chromosome number. An unreduced gamete with 31 chromosomes from the 'Capri form' together with a 30-chromosome gamete from Ledgers variety have almost certainly combined to give the hybrid 'Bourne Graceful'.

I have used the B&W photo taken by the hybridiser,this was published in the BIS Yearbook in 1975
then I changed the photo taken in the garden today to B&W to confirm ID .Click on collage to enlarge.

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1975, '1975 Registrations'.
BOURNE GRACEFUL    Jack R. Ellis, Reg 1975. Evansia  I. japonica.  Ledgers variety X I. japonica Capri form. Very pale mauve with darker mauve spots around yellow crest 42 " height. April-June in cool green house. A.M.,(J.I.C.), S.C.,C.M., 1975 . 

AIS Checklist 1975
BOURNE GRACEFUL   J. R. Ellis, Reg 1975.  SPEC 42" (107 cm) E-M.  Very pale mauve with darker mauve spots around yellow crest. I. japonica var. Ledgers X I. japonica var. Capri., British Iris Society 1990.

Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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