Irises forum: Iris foetidissima lutea?

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Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Oct 21, 2016 4:58 PM CST
Hi Irisarians!
Several years ago, I bought Iris foetidissima lutea from Aitken's Salmon Creek Gardens. I spoke with them by phone, and they said the seed was from mountains in Northern Africa, I can't now recall which country but I think it was Morocco. I had been looking for var. citrina or var. lutescens, as these were recommended by Graham Rice in his book 'Planting the Dry Shade Garden'. I couldn't find a source for these, but the Aitkens said they are all likely the same, whatever they are called. My plants are in fact great for dry shade, under a big pine tree, and I have been growing them from seed too (quite a project- they germinate the SECOND winter!). My original plants now are blooming (yellow as expected) and making the terrific showy seed pods. I thought I should upload photos here. But I am not sure how to list them here because the types available for Iris foetidissima in NGA are var. citrina and 'Aurea'. NGA does not include either my "lutea" nor Graham Rice's "var. lutescens".
I am not knowledgeable enough about irises to suggest NGA should add my variety (subspecies?), as it may not be a real thing. The Aitkens are Iris experts and they call it lutea.
Any ideas?
Thumb of 2016-10-21/Pistil/3ca874

Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hybridizer Garden Photography Region: United States of America Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener
Oct 21, 2016 7:31 PM CST
@KentPfeiffer or @CaliforniaSue may have some insight or check in the ask forum as well.

If it's worth the research, maybe check with another renowned hybridizer if possible. Keith Keppel is in a look at pictures mood lately, and may know exactly. Look up Keith Keppel Iris and his email is posted on the site. He usually responds later at night, but may add direction.

Ps. Make sure to show us a bloom. Always starving for bloom pics
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Oct 21, 2016 8:12 PM CST


Iris foetidissima lutea is not a recognized variety. Iris foetidissima var. lutescens was, at one time recognized as a separate variety of Iris foetidissima, but it has since been determined to be not distinct enough to warrant varietal status.

Iris foetidissima var. citrina is a misnamed version of Iris citrina (which itself has been reclassified as a synonym of Species Iris (Iris tenuissima) ) so that entry actually needs to be removed from the database.

To make a long story short Smiling , the Species Iris (Iris foetidissima) entry would be the proper place for your pictures.

Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Oct 22, 2016 7:19 PM CST
Thanks Kent, that makes sense. It looks like they already have some nice seedpod photos, but next spring I will get some flower closeups for the Database. Mine are more yellow than the photos there.
Here is a related question-I have sown the seeds fresh in the fall. Do you know if they will survive dry storage? I did a little experiment and found I don't even need to take off the fleshy part of the berry, I guess in my climate the extended cool wet weather rots it away. I actually got better germination from seeds I sowed as whole berries. But I thought other gardeners might want my seeds, in which case drying would be easiest.

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