Species PCIs


Since we are so enamored with Pacific Coast Iris hybrids, we thought it would be great to put together some information about the their genetic forefathers.... Cohen is a wonderful resource!

Pacific Coast Iris Species


Iris tenax

Flowers: usually single-flowered; large standards, held erect.
Style crests: rounded, reflexed, edges toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: wide, from deepest purple-blue through lavender to white, cream and yellow.
Perianth tube: short (avg. 1/4").
Ovary: barrel-shaped, rounded in section.
Spathes: Narrow spathes, separated and divergent (open).
Stem: slender, with one or more clasping stem-leaves.
Leaves: narrow, grassy-green leaves, up to 1/2" wide and usually longer than the stems; abundant; leaf bases usually stained with pink or red.
Habit: deciduous; dense, tight clumps.
Iris hartwegii
Flowers: usually two per stem; small.
Style crests: narrow, reflexed, rounded and toothed at edge.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: Slender floral segments, standards held erect.
Color range: cream, yellow and lavender.
Perianth tube: short and stout.
Ovary: cylindrical.
Spathes: narrow; separated and widely divergent.
Stem: slender stem, with one or more stem-leaves.
Leaves: narrow, pale green leaves, usually without color at base, sometimes glaucous.
Habit: deciduous; rather loose habit.
Iris munzii
Flowers: large; two to four per stem.
Style crests: reflexed, rounded and toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: often frilled and fluted, and finely veined in violet or blue.
Color range: from pale powder-blue through lavender to purple.
Perianth tube: short and stout.
Ovary: barrel-shaped.
Spathes: large; widely separated and divergent.
Stem: stout stem, with one or more stem-leaves.
Leaves: broad; 3/4" wide, up to 20" in length, and usually shorter than the stems; grey-green or blue-green, glaucous and without color at the bases.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris macrosiphon
Flowers: usually two per stem.
Style crests: spear-shaped; somewhat toothed and reflexed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: wide; from deep indigo-blue through lavender and purple, to cream, white and yellow.
Perianth tube: Long, up to 3"; bowl-shaped at the top.
Ovary: ovoid, pedicels short.
Spathes: long, narrow, closed.
Stem: slender, up to 10", but there are stemless forms.
Leaves: one or more stem-leaves; narrow blue-green leaves, glaucous; colorless at base.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris fernaldii
Flowers: Usually two per stem.
Style crests: oblong to spear-shaped, reflexed and slightly toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: pale creamy-yellow, delicately veined with gold or lavender-grey.
Perianth tube: Long; funnel-shaped above.
Ovary: ovoid; pedicels short.
Spathes: broad; closed.
Stem: 8" to 12", with two or more stem-leaves.
Leaves: narrow un to ¼” in width, longer than stems, dark grey-green, dull. Often glaucous, and heavily stained with purple-red. Staining also appears on stems and spathes.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris chrysophylla
Flowers: usually two per stem.
Style crests: very long and narrow, only slightly reflexed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: narrow; standards often spreading.
Color range: cream or off-white, veined in gold or violet.
Perianth tube: Very long; slightly swollen at top.
Ovary: ovoid; pedicels short.
Spathes: Broad; closed.
Stem: up to 8", but many forms are stemless.
Leaves: Narrow light-green leaves, often glaucous and stained pink or red at base.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris tenuissima
Flowers: Usually two flowers to each stem.
Style crests: very long and narrow; strongly reflexed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: narrow and somewhat spreading.
Color range: off-white or cream; pale yellow form reported. Strongly veined in purple or red-brown.
Perianth tube: long; abruptly dilated in upper section.
Ovary: ovoid, pedicels short.
Spathes: broad, closed.
Stem: slender, up to 10", but stemless forms exist.
Leaves: narrow grey-green leaves; sometimes glaucous and pink or red at base.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris douglasiana
Flowers: two or three from the spathes.
Style crests: rounded to oblong, reflexed, edges toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: variable in size, shape and color.
Color range: ranging from deep red¬-purple through lavender and blue to shades of cream, veined and marked in gold, blue or purple.
Perianth tube: ¾” to 1".
Ovary: oblong, tapering at ends, triangular in cross-section, with nipple-like projection a tip.
Spathes: variable; open or closed, separated or opposite.
Stem: can be branched, often producing up to four side¬ branches on mature plants.
Leaves: variable in size, shape and color. Usually dark green and glossy; can be yellow-green and dull. Most forms are bright red at base, sometimes glaucous. Width from ¼” to 1".
Habit: evergreen; usually forms large, thick, widely spreading clump.
Iris purdyi
Flowers: usually two per stem.
Style crests: oblong to narrowly triangular, reflexed, toothed or lobed at the apex.
Stigmas: truncate or even bilobed.
Floral segments: Large spreading flowers with broad, flattened standards and falls.
Color range: rich cream, or white flushed with pale lavender, strongly veined with dotted lines of purple or cerise-pink.
Perianth tube: long (avg. 1 ½”) sometimes funnel-shaped at the top.
Ovary: narrowly ovate, pedicels shortish.
Spathes: large, very broad, slightly inflated, closed.
Stem: slightly flattened, covered with several short, overlapping, inflated bracts.
Leaves: green above, grey-green below, somewhat glaucous; brilliant pink or red staining at base of leaves, and also on stems, bracts and spathes.
Habit: evergreen.
Iris bracteata
Flowers: usually two per stem.
Style crests: oblong, reflexed and toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: broad; large flower, standards erect.
Color range: rich creamy-buff or deep buff yellow, strongly veined in red-brown or maroon.
Perianth tube: short and stout, funnel-shaped.
Ovary: barrel-shaped, tapering into pedicels.
Spathes: large, closed.
Stem: up to 12" in height, with several stem-bracts, lower bracts tightly overlapping.
Leaves: dark, glossy green; thick and rigid.
Habit: evergreen; leaves few and scattered.
Iris innominata
Flowers: usually one, sometimes two.
Style crests: rounded, reflexed, edges toothed or minutely lobed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: usually broad and rather rounded.
Color range: from pale creamy-buff through yellow to orange and from orchid-pink to very deep blue-purple.
Perianth tube: medium length (avg. ¾”), slender, slightly funnel-shaped at the top.
Ovary: oblong to oval, rounded in section, pedicels short.
Spathes: small, comparatively broad, closed.
Stem: slender, with several clasping stem-leaves.
Leaves: very narrow (avg. 1/8”), very dark green and glossy, usually stained purple-red towards the bases.
Habit: evergreen; dense and compact, with leaves bending over outwards.

Pacific Coast Iris Sub-species

Iris tenax ssp. klamathensis
Flowers: usually one; standards smaller and less erect than in the species.
Style crests: rounded to deltoid, reflexed, toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: pale buff or creamy-apricot, with maroon or red-brown veins.
Perianth tube: tube ½” to ¾” long, stout; often funnel-shaped.
Ovary: tapering at each end, slightly rounded or triangular in section.
Spathes: narrow; divergent and often separated.
Stem: slender, with one or more clasping stem-leaves.
Leaves: narrow (avg. 1/8”) dark green, often glossy, stained at base with pink or red.
Habit: evergreen; leaves and habit similar to I. innominata.
Iris hartwegii ssp. australis
Flowers: usually two flowers per stem; somewhat similar to I. tenax in size and shape of standards and falls.
Style crests: slightly rounded; reflexed, edges toothed.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: restricted, from purple to violet-blue.
Perianth tube: short and rather broad.
Ovary: barrel-shaped, tapering into pedicel.
Spathes: broad, widely separated and divergent.
Stem: sturdy, with one or more sheathing leaves.
Leaves: shortish leaves, up to ¼”wide, dull grey-green, glaucous and pale pink at base.
Habit: somewhat open and loose.
Iris hartwegii ssp. columbiana
Flowers: usually three flowers per stem; flowers larger and more substantial than in the species.
Style crests: oblong; reflexed; toothed at apex.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments:
Color range: pale creamy-yellow, with golden veins.
Perianth tube: short.
Ovary: barrel-shaped, tapering into pedicel; second and third pedicels are quite long, especially when the capsules are ripening.
Spathes: long, narrow; separated and divergent.
Stem: 12" to 15" high, two or three stem-leaves.
Leaves: Green leaves ½” wide and up to 30" long, sometimes pale pink at base.
Habit:
Iris hartwegii ssp. pinetorum
Flowers: two; both may be open together.
Style crests: narrow.
Stigmas: triangular.
Floral segments: slender floral segments, rather wide-spreading.
Color range: pale creamy-yellow, with deep golden veins.
Perianth tube: over ½” in length, tapering into ovary, and dilated above.
Ovary:
Spathes: narrow spathes, separated and divergent.
Stem: slender, with two to four stem-leaves.
Leaves: narrow, pale green leaves, with pale pink staining on leaf bases.
Habit:
Iris tenuisima ssp purdyiformis
Flowers: usually two per stem.
Style crests: narrow, rather long, reflexed
Stigmas: rounded or triangular.
Floral segments: narrow and spreading
Color range: cream or pale yellow, sometimes with a few purple veins.
Perianth tube: long, up to 1 ½”, slightly dilated in upper part.
Ovary: oval-shaped; pedicels short.
Spathes: short, very broad; flushed pink; closed.
Stem: slender, with three or four bracts, slightly inflated; not overlapping.
Leaves: narrow grey-green leaves, slightly glaucous, pink or red at the base.
Habit: evergreen.