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TB 21″ E B1M

The classic blue neglecta. A naturally occurring hybrid, it has long been a garden addition in Europe, and is fairly widespread across the States as well. Like other natural hybrids it is a ‘type’ of iris rather than a specific clone, and there are several cultivars, varying in minor details, under this name.

A practice by the 19th century was usage of the familiar name of a species: I. pallida was Sweet Iris for the pallid (pale) blue, I. albicans the Yemen I., while I. germanica was the German I. and probably initially applied to the various purples. Somewhere in linguistic history, ‘German Iris’ became synonymous with ‘modern’ TB hybrids and, misleading as it is, can still be seen on mass-marketed packaging.

A practice by the 19th century was usage of the familiar name of a species: I. pallida was Sweet Iris for the pallid (pale) blue, I. albicans the Yemen I., while I. germanica was the German I. and probably initially applied to the various purples. Somewhere in linguistic history, ‘German Iris’ became synonymous with ‘modern’ TB hybrids and, misleading as it is, can still be seen on mass-marketed packaging.

Records of I. germanica have been traced back to 1597 in the botanical writings of Gerarde. The words ‘germane, german, germain, germaine,’ refer to akin, those having the same parents; from the same root. The Swedish word for I. germanica is trädgårdsiris (träd = of systems with a similar structure; tree & gård = yard). When Carl Linnaeus (Uppsala, Sweden) needed a type specimen (lectotype) for the family Iridaceae, he selected the likely regionally common garden variety, similar enough to each other to be of the same family tree ~I. germanica ~ for placement in the herbarium in 1753.

You can see Linnaeus’s iris at the Swedish Museum of Natural History website here.

 

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I. Germanica

Linnaeus, 1753, collected natural hybrid

Iris Class: Bearded
Bearded Class: Tall Bearded
Age: Before 1900
Fall Color: Purple
Standard Color: Purple
Pattern: Neglecta
Beard Color: Lemon/Light Yellow
Hybridizer: Linnaeus
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