Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Habitat & Distribution
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Iris germanica
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Iris germanica
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Iris germanica, the German Iris, is a species in the genus Iris.
Iris germanica' grows up to 120 cm high and 30 cm wide. The roots can go up to 10 cm deep. It is a rhizomatous perennial that blooms in April to June. Lifting, dividing and replanting the rhizomes is best done once flowering has finished as this is when the plant grows the new shoots that will flower the following year. The rhizomes are placed on the surface of the soil facing towards the sun and with at least 45cm of open ground in front of them - this allows two years growth and flowering. The plant is held in place by removing half the leaf mass to reduce wind rock and by using the old roots as anchors in the soil. The rhizome is placed on well dug ground and the roots placed either side into 10cm deep grooves. The soil os then gently firmed around the roots, so holding the plant steady. New roots and leaves are created rapidly as the rhizome moves forwards.
Hundreds of hybrids exist representing every colour from jet black to sparkling whites. The only colour really missing is bright scarlet.
It is a European hybrid, rather than a true wild species. 
- I. g. var. florentina
- I. g. var. germanica
- "Iris × germanica L. is an accepted name". theplantlist.org (The Plant List). 23 February 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Pacific Bulb Society: Garden Bearded Irises
- Lipase-catalyzed regioselective protection/deprotection of hydroxyl groups of the isoflavone irilone isolated from Iris germanica. Nighat Nazir, Surrinder Koul, Mushtaq Ahmad Qurishi, Subhash Chandra Taneja and Ghulam Nabi Qazi, Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, 1029-2446, Volume 27, Issue 2, First published on 2 December 2008 Pages 118–123
It was once known as 'Iris hungarica'.
Between 1800 and 1850, several Iris breeders (including Lemoin, Jacques and Salter), started breeding border irises for the garden. These Irises were all the progeny of two species, Iris pallida and 'Iris variegata'. It was William Rickatson Dykes who worked out that these were the parents of most hybrids, especially those bi-coloured hybrids. These new irises were known as 'Tall Bearded Irises'. In the wild, hybrids of 'Iris pallida' and 'Iris variegata' are very similar to Iris germanica.
Hundreds of hybrids exist representing every colour from jet black to sparkling whites. The only colour really missing is bright scarlet. Many modern garden bearded irises are crosses of 'Iris germanica' and Iris variegata.
It is extremely hardy, because after flowering, its leaves die entirely away in the autumn and the plants remain dormant, until the spring when it regrows leaves and stems. It is best cultivated in well drained fertile soils, but is tolerant of partial shade.
Lifting, dividing and replanting the rhizomes is best done once flowering has finished, because this is when the plant grows the new shoots that will flower the following year. The rhizomes are placed on the surface of the soil facing towards the sun and with at least 45 cm of open ground in front of them - this allows two years growth and flowering. The plant is held in place by removing half the leaf mass to reduce wind rock and by using the old roots as anchors in the soil. The rhizome is placed on well dug ground and the roots placed either side into 10 cm deep grooves. The soil is then gently firmed around the roots, so holding the plant steady. New roots and leaves are created rapidly as the rhizome moves forwards.
It also can be propagated by seed.
The perianth tube is 2-2.5 cm long. The flowers are yellowish-white, with brown-purple veins on the falls. The flowers are generally about 5–7 cm wide. The falls are obovate-oblong shaped and nearly 2 cm wide, yellow with purple or chestnut brown veins, which are darker closer to the apex. It has a yellow beard in the centre on the lower part of the fall, the standards are erect, (vary in colour) from pale yellow to bright yellow and gold.
It has a seed capsule measuring 2.2-2.8 cm long by 1-1.3 cm wide, with 6 ribs along the edge.
'Iris variegata' is found in the Pannonian (ancient Roman province) region of central Europe. It occurs in southern Moravia, southern Slovakia, south-western Germany, southern Romania, Bulgaria, western Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia and Vienna.
- Iris variegata var. Reginae (white flowers with purple and violet veining) which was collected in Hungary in 1947.
- Iris amoena (white standards, lilac/mauve falls)
- Iris variagate var. pontica
Illustration from The Botanical Magazine, Plate 16 (Volume 1, 1787
- 322538 "Iris variegata L.". theplantlist.org. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Iris variegata (Hungarian iris)". kew.org. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "(SPEC) Iris variegata L.". wiki.irises.org. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Sweet, Robert The British Flower Garden: Containing Coloured Figures and descriptions of Hardy Herbaceous Plants, Volume 1, p. 74, at Google Books
- Kelly D. Norris A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts, p. 122, at Google Books
- "Iridaceae Iris variegata L". ipni.org (International Plant Names Index). Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Wister, John C. (October 1920). "NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF THE BEARDED IRIS". Journal of The New York Botanical Garden 21(250): 181-191. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Cassidy, George E.; Linnegar, Sidney (1987). Growing Irises (Revised ed.). Bromley: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-88192-089-4.
- Phillips, Roger; Rix, Martyn (1991). Perennials Vol. 1. Pan Books Ltd. p. 190. ISBN 9780330327749.
- Austin, Claire. "Irises A Garden Encyclopedia" (pdf). worldtracker.org. pp. 28+134. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Stebbings, Geoff (1997). The Gardener's Guide to Growing Irises. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. ISBN 0715305395.
- "Iris variegata". www.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Dykes, William (2009). "Handbook of Garden Irises" (pdf). beardlessiris.org (The Group for Beardless Irises). Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Singh, Gurcharan. "Hungarian Iris". flowersofindia.net. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Hoskovec, Ladislav (8 February 2014). "Iris variegata L. - Hungarian Iris". botany.cz. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Iris variegata". encyclopaedia.alpinegardensociety.net. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Christopher Bricknell, ed. (1989). Gardeners' Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers (7th ed.). Dorling Kindersley. p. 524. ISBN 978-0751301472.
- "Iris variegata L.". eunis.eea.europa.eu. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "PlantFiles: Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, Historic Iris Iris variegata 'Gracchus'". davesgarden.com. 2004. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Iris variegata var.Reginae". historiciris.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Iris variagate var. pontica". signa.org. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
It grows mostly in the woods of Downy Oak (Quercus pubescens) and Black Hophornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) on dolomite and limestone soils. It is known from hilly parts of continental Croatia including the hills of Samoborsko gorje (near Samobor), the hill Cesargradska gora (near Klanjec), near Josipdol, on the hill of Strahinjčica (near Radoboj), and at Zagrebačko gorje and Žumberačko gorje. It was described in 1962 by botanists Ivo and Marija Horvat.
- Zima, Dinko; Tomašević, Mirko (January 2009). "Locality of the species Iris croatica Horvat et Horvat, M. in Požega Valley". Agronomy journal (in Croatian) (Zagreb, Croatia: Croatian society of agronomists) 70 (5): 513. ISSN 0002-1954. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- Horvat, Ivo; Horvat, Marija (1961–1962). "Iris croatica – nova vrsta perunike u Hrvatskoj". Acta Botanica Croatica (in Croatian) (Zagreb: Division of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb). 20/21: 7–20. ISSN 0365-0588.
- Ministry of Culture (Croatia) (2004-07-20). "Pravilnik o skupljanju samoniklih biljaka u svrhu prerade, trgovine i drugog prometa". Narodne novine (in Croatian) (04/100). Retrieved 2012-06-06.
Roots are reputed to have medicinal properties. Rhizomes yield an essential oil used in perfumery, cosmetics etc. Extracts of rhizomes are used in meat curing. Leaves are rich source of ascorbic acid and vitamin P (Ambasta, Ramachandaran, Kashyapa & Chan, Usef. Pl. Ind. 294. 1986).
The perianths of Iris pallida are primarily blue, but one form had the blue pigment limited to stipples or stitches on the margins of both sepals and petals, and this recessive pattern was carried over into I. germanica. The perianths of I. variegata are yellow, with the veins of the sepals marked with a dark blue-violet that gives, along with the yellow background, a purple or brown effect. In some forms, the pigment of these veins spreads over most of the surface of the sepals, leaving only a small band of background color along the margins. In I. germanica, if this pattern introduced from I. variegata is added to a light blue-violet background, the petals remain light blue and the sepals become a very dark violet with light blue margins; this form has been called I. neglecta Hornemann. If the pattern is added to a white flower, the result has been called I. amoena de Candolle. A form in which the dark blue veins were replaced by white has been named I. leucographa Kerner. Another form in which this white pigment had spread to produce a large white area on the sepals with a narrow yellow border has been called I. flavescens Delile. All of these forms were known early in the breeding of the garden cultivars of I. germanica and added greatly to their popularity. J. C. Wister (1927) said that Iris pallida and I. variegata were the only species involved in the production of I. germanica until about 1889, when Sir Michael Foster of England had several large-flowered irises sent to him from the eastern part of the Mediterranean: I. cypriana Foster & Baker, I. trojana A. Kerner ex Stapf, and I. mesopotamica Dykes. These he crossed with the best of the I. germanica forms that he had. He didn’t know it at the time, but these Mediterranean species were tetraploids, and with them he began to produce larger plants and more different patterns, which changed the entire direction of iris breeding. Since that time, many other species from Europe and Asia have been brought into the breeding: I. subbiflora Brotero, I. humilis M. Bieberstein, I. reichenbachii Heuffel, I. imbricata Lindley, I. attica Boissier & Heldreich, I. aphylla Linnaeus, I. albicans Lange, and many others. The plants resulting from hybridization with those other species can not be considered as I. germanica, but must have another name: I. ×conglomerata N. C. Henderson has been proposed.
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