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Pakistan | Family List | Pakistan V. 202 | Iridaceae | Iris

2. Iris aitchisonii (Baker) Boiss., Fl. Or. 5: 123. 1881; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 6: 272. 1892; Baker, Handb. Irideae: 44. 1892; R.R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 63. 1972; Wendelbo & B. Mathew in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 112: 48. 1975; B. Mathew, Iris (rev. ed): 142 1989; B. Mathew in SGBIS, Guide Species Irises 227. 1997.

S. I. Ali & Brian Mathew

Iris aitchisonii

Credit: B. Mathew

Xiphion aitchisonii Baker in J. Bot. 13: 108. 1875; Juno aitchisonii (Baker) Klatt, Abh. Naturf. Ges. Halle 12: 362. 1882.

Bulb tunic papery, dark brown, developed into a neck. Roots fleshy and long, not markedly swollen. Leaves 3-6 well developed at the flowering time, up to 40 cm long, 3-8 mm broad, linear, suberect, rather flaccid, glabrous, margin not conspicuously white. Stem up to 36 cm in height, nodes and internodes visible. Inflorescence 1-3 flowered. Bracts 5-6 cm long. Perianth 5-6 cm in diameter, yellow or violet or sometimes yellow and brown; falls 3.5-5.5 cm long; claw 2-3.5 cm long. Standard reflexed 1.2-2.5 cm long, hypanthial tube 2.5-3.5 cm long. Stamens with filaments 0.5-1.2 cm, anthers 1.1-2.0 cm. Style branches 3.4-4.4 cm long, lobes c. 1-1.3 cm long, acute; stigma emarginate, crenate. Fruit sessile, 3.7-5.7 (-8.4) cm long, linear-oblong, glabrous, tip acute, pointed, longitudinally running veins, 3 veins more prominent. Seeds 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1.5-2.0 mm broad, ovate with a beak, dark brown, warty, aril absent.

Fl. Per.: March-April.

Type: Aitchison 1118 (K).

Baker (l.c.) states it to be "a handsome new species of bulbous Iris discovered by Dr. Aitchison in March, 1874, growing abundantly on Mount Tilla in the Jhelum district of the Punjab". The specimen at Kew bears the printed label stating "Punjab. Coll. Dr. Aitchison, Comm. Aug. 1974". "1118 Xiphion aitchisoni Baker" is stated in the hand writing of Baker.

Distribution: E. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir.

It is the first record of this taxon from Kashmir. It is a plant of moist areas on grassy slopes, c. 900 m. It is reported to be successfully cultivated in deep pots in alpine house or in bulb frames (B. Mathew, 1997).


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