|From In the Garden|
I have always loved irises, though never so much as when I moved to Tennessee. Did you know the iris is the Tennessee state flower? Who isn't familiar with these tall purple irises found just about anywhere you look in Tennessee? I have so many varieties I have lost track and really don't know them all, but I did happen upon some interesting information about irises I thought I'd share.
I picked up a tall bearded iris 'Change of Pace' at a bargain price at Lowe's in December. While researching it I found a website that listed the botanical name as Iris plicata. I don't know about you, but I had never heard of this kind of iris before, so I thought I would further investigate.
Running across another website featuring Redoute's botanical prints I also found a blurb about plicata.
“Plicata” is a descriptive term for irises that have patterns of stitched, stippled or banded colors contrasting with the base color.
To verify this meaning of a specific epithet since I was still not convinced of its validity, I investigated further. Checking this website called Dictionary of Botanical Epithets, I have found the definition of plicata as listed there is: 'to fold up', or 'pleated'. Hmmmm. It does not list 'stippled' or 'banded' or 'stitched' as is described above.
I thought this most interesting. Even though the dictionary says the meaning of plicata is to fold up, isn't the other definition a perfect epithet for the pictured iris? It is stippled for sure.
The world of gardening is amazing and if I lived a 100 lives I would still not know all I wish to know about gardening. But adding the word plicata to my knowledge bank helps out a bit; even if I find conflicting information on it.
For the record, the iris pictured above is NOT 'Change of Pace'. That particular iris has not bloomed yet this year. The pictured iris is one I purchased from a fellow Perennial Plant Society member. I had the name of it at one time, but have since lost it. The color came true in the photo, so maybe someone out there recognizes this iris? If so, do let me know what you think it is.
Just look at another iris I have growing in my garden. Anyone know this one? I received this from a fellow Freecycler in Evansville, Indiana. She loves her irises and daylilies and I think this one pretty special. What do you suppose the specific epithet for this one would be? Iris striatus??
I think I'll just rest my brain and not think too awfully hard about specific epithets. Plicata, Siberian, whatever. I guess maybe what is important is that the flowers look good, but I still would like to figure out all these Latin names! What do you think of them?
for now I'm in the garden....it IS iris time in Tennessee!