We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew  (Read 10373 times)

art600

  • Travels light, travels far
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2699
I gave a talk on Saturday to the British Iris species Group on Iridaceae.

I showed some photos of what I called Iris barnumae taken in Iran.  Brian Mathew corrected me and said they should be called Iris polakii.  He has since sent me the basis for the name - this follows.

A search on Google revealed nothing, so I thought this was probably the best place to post the info for widest information.

The photos I showed are below.

333048-0

333050-1

333052-2

edit by maggi to add Brian Mathew's text:


What is Iris polakii?

Iris polakii was described as a new species in 1885 by the Austrian botanist Otto Stapf who was later employed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and became Keeper of the Herbarium. The species was based on a collection made in Iran three years earlier by Thomas Pichler on an expedition to the Hamadan area and Mt Elwend, the leader of which was Dr Jacob Polak. The type specimen was deposited in the Vienna herbarium but unfortunately appears to have been destroyed during World War II. Probably no living material was introduced at the time and no illustrations were made so I. polakii was known only from its written description and Stapf’s memory of the plant. Three years later the Kew botanist J.G.Baker, together with Sir Michael Foster, described another similar but distinct species from Turkey, I. barnumae.
In 1975 Mathew & Wendelbo published their account of Iridaceae for Flora Iranica in which they stated “In the absence of a type specimen it is impossible to identify this plant [i.e. I. polakii Stapf].” However, I have recently reviewed the matter and found that there is in fact a rather straightforward way of identifying it, unfortunately overlooked by us at the time Flora Iranica was being prepared.

In 1927 a collection of living rhizomes of a purple-flowered Oncocyclus Iris was made by the British Consul in Tabriz, Mr B. Gilliat-Smith, and some were sent to England. By this time Otto Stapf had become Keeper of the Herbarium at Kew, Editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and was in contact with Gilliat-Smith. In May 1928 the plants flowered and were illustrated for the Botanical Magazine by that great botanical illustrator Lilian Snelling. Stapf provided the text for the illustration, published as plate number 9279, and remarked that the plant was “no doubt identical with I. polakii, as originally described by me”. A dried specimen of the individual plant that was illustrated was deposited in the Kew Herbarium. Gilliat-Smith also sent to Kew herbarium specimens directly from the wild, from “Hills south of Tabriz” (no. 2489) and “Kushji Gadugi Pass” (collected 21 May 1928).  

Unfortunately, for it has caused some confusion, Stapf published the Botanical Magazine illustration under the name I. polakii var. protonyma Stapf, as if this plant differed in some way from his original polakii. However, there is a simple explanation: Stapf was aware of both the purple-flowered, yellow-bearded I. barnumae from south-eastern Turkey and of the yellow-flowered I. urmiensis, described by Hoog in 1900. He considered them very closely related and proposed that they were probably just colour forms of one species and suggested the names I. polakii forma urmiensis and I. polakii forma barnumae. In order to distinguish his original polakii from these Stapf added to it the epithet protonyma (‘first-named’); this was in keeping with the practice at the time and epithets such as ‘typica’ and ‘normale’ were commonly used for the normal or original variant of a species, although I haven’t encountered ‘protonyma’ used elsewhere. In a similar situation today, using modern nomenclatural procedure, we would use the autonym rule and refer to the original form as I. polakii forma polakii.

So, Plate 9279 of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is a  valuable contribution: it is a representation of the ‘real’ I. polakii, confirmed by Stapf, the original author of the species, and the specimen from which it was painted resides in the Kew Herbarium. In the absence of Thomas Pichler’s type specimen this can be regarded as a Neotype of the species. The intense purple colouration of I. polakii has not reproduced well but the characteristic broad standards and short, dense blackish-violet beard are clearly displayed. The other illustration shows a plant of I. polakii photographed by Paul Furse in the 1960s; interestingly, he actually referred to this as I. polakii var. protonyma in his writings.  
B. M.


 Plate 9279
333206-3

Paul Furse photo
333208-4
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 11:27:11 PM by Maggi Young »
Arthur Nicholls

Anything bulbous    North Kent

ronm

  • Guest
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 09:03:17 PM »
They are really stunning Art.  :o :o :o.
When were these pictures taken please? Is this species in cutivation? I am not such a specialist but I've never seen such a pink before in Oncos, or perhaps any Iris sp.!

art600

  • Travels light, travels far
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2699
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 09:07:31 PM »
Ron

They were taken during my trip to Iran in 2005.  We were very lucky as we had stopped to photograph an 'orange' form of Anemone biflora on the outskirts of a village - the Iris were a bonus  :)
Arthur Nicholls

Anything bulbous    North Kent

ronm

  • Guest
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 09:16:29 PM »
A real bonus indeed Art. ;D Congratulations  for such luck! :o What has happened to this species over the last 6-7 years? It is still listed as a synonym by the Plant List, as you know. Is it now recognised as a species?

ronm

  • Guest
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 09:32:34 PM »
Understood now Maggi. Thanks.

ronm

  • Guest
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 09:36:44 PM »

Arthur - superb pictures, it is similar to Iris barnumae f. protonyma  from Iran, do you know which differences exist?
Checking Kew Checklist I was surprised to see Iris polakii is a synonym of Iris sanguinea var. sanguinea (http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?name_id=322241) - thinking always to be "species" near to Iris barnumae... ???




Hans, It is also listed twice as synonym of I. barnumae. :) Directly underneath the listing you mention. So you were correct.. in a way ???
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 09:38:27 PM by Maggi Young »

Diane Clement

  • the people's Pepys
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
  • Country: gb
  • gone to seed
    • AGS Midland Garden Blog
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 09:40:07 PM »
Seed of this plant was distributed by Jim & Jenny Archibald and it appeared in their seed list as
JJA584.750 : IRIS BARNUMAE f. PROTONYMA (Sect. Oncocyclus)  Iran, West Azerbayejan, N of Khoi, Khamsian pass. 1585m. Residual steppe between cultivated areas.  (Possibly the first time material of this sumptuous, dwarf steppe-plant has been available since the 1960's. Beautifully proportioned flowers in pure, penetrating, rich red-violet. The standards are slightly paler than the falls with their glossy, black-violet signal-patches below distinctive beards of dense, short, black hairs, like patches of moleskin. The black-bearded race is endemic to NW Iran and this colony has the finest forms we have seen.)
I was lucky enough to buy a small plant from Jenny Archibald after Jim's death and on the back of the label Jim has written "= I polakii"
Diane Clement, Wolverhampton, UK
Director, AGS Seed Exchange

art600

  • Travels light, travels far
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2699
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 10:57:20 PM »
Diane

Lucky you  :)

I understood from Brian that barnumae has yellow hairs on the falls
Arthur Nicholls

Anything bulbous    North Kent

Janis Ruksans

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3942
  • Country: lv
    • Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 08:41:14 AM »
Here picture of typical barnumae from near Van in E Turkey.
And another one which I grow as collected it under name "moleskin Iris" from Iran - of course not barnumae protonyma to which some "moleskin" was attached in Iris book. But what it is? May be someone know this?
Janis
Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
http://rarebulbs.lv

art600

  • Travels light, travels far
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2699
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 08:44:58 AM »
Janis

It is quite clear that your plant is barnumae, and the plants I photographed in Iran are different.

I believe the discussion on 'moleskin' is still continuing - the black patch on the falls suggests Iris polakii is involved.
Arthur Nicholls

Anything bulbous    North Kent

Otto Fauser

  • Bulb Legend
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
  • Country: au
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 09:16:57 AM »
Seed of this plant was distributed by Jim & Jenny Archibald and it appeared in their seed list as
JJA584.750 : IRIS BARNUMAE f. PROTONYMA (Sect. Oncocyclus)  Iran, West Azerbayejan, N of Khoi, Khamsian pass. 1585m. Residual steppe between cultivated areas.  (Possibly the first time material of this sumptuous, dwarf steppe-plant has been available since the 1960's. Beautifully proportioned flowers in pure, penetrating, rich red-violet. The standards are slightly paler than the falls with their glossy, black-violet signal-patches below distinctive beards of dense, short, black hairs, like patches of moleskin. The black-bearded race is endemic to NW Iran and this colony has the finest forms we have seen.)
I was lucky enough to buy a small plant from Jenny Archibald after Jim's death and on the back of the label Jim has written "= I polakii"

Diane , I too was lucky to raise one plant of I. barnumae f. protonyma = polakii , seed kindly sent to me by Jenny after Jim's death . Hopefully it may flower next year -fingers crossed .
Collector of rare bulbs & alpines, east of Melbourne, 500m alt, temperate rain forest.

Janis Ruksans

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3942
  • Country: lv
    • Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 10:27:22 AM »
Janis

It is quite clear that your plant is barnumae, and the plants I photographed in Iran are different.

I believe the discussion on 'moleskin' is still continuing - the black patch on the falls suggests Iris polakii is involved.
"Moleskin"- hybrid??? - I saw it in wild, quite uniform, and where is parents? Nothing seen in proximity.
Janis
Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
http://rarebulbs.lv

Hans A.

  • bulb growing paradise
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1470
  • Country: 00
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 11:56:21 AM »
I tend to agree with you Janis. I have not seen them in nature but the pictures of the 'moleskin' Iris show very uniform plants (only colour seems to vary), I always wondered when I saw them also mentioned as 'Meda'hybrids. I had received 2 plants from Jenny Archibald, hope they will flower this year for the first time - I think they were labled Iris aff. barnumae - Moleskin.
Hans - Balearic Islands/Spain
10a  -  140nn

Janis Ruksans

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3942
  • Country: lv
    • Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 02:45:49 PM »
I tend to agree with you Janis. I have not seen them in nature but the pictures of the 'moleskin' Iris show very uniform plants (only colour seems to vary), I always wondered when I saw them also mentioned as 'Meda'hybrids. I had received 2 plants from Jenny Archibald, hope they will flower this year for the first time - I think they were labled Iris aff. barnumae - Moleskin.
On my pictures you can see that "moleskin" is so different, that seem that only common thing to both is the genus "Iris" ;D
Janis
Rare Bulb Nursery - Latvia
http://rarebulbs.lv

PeterT

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
  • Country: gb
Re: Iris polakii - confused with I. barnumae- notes from Brian Mathew
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 07:00:01 PM »
Surely from the notes by B Mathew I polakii Staff includes barnumae? As I barnumae and urmiensis are no longer regarded as the same species as I polakii, (Iris polakii can't have a yellow beard?), and if a plant resembling Irises barnumae has a yellow beard it can not polakii?
The yellow 'V' on the falls of Iris barnumae is very distinctive in the forms I grow.
living near Stranraer, Scotland. Gardening in the West of Scotland and Derbyshire, England.

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal