Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Iris germanica L. subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo var. plicata

See Iris germanica L. subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo for a discussion of the type species.  Plicata is now regarded as merely an albino form of pallida with white standards and falls except for veins of colour on the edges of the segments. [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

I. plicata is only apparently an example of I. pallida in which some factor is present which prevents the purple colour from appearing [except] at the edges of the segments.’  [Dykes].  Innes and other authors suggest that it may be a hybrid between I. pallida and I. variegata.

‘Lamarck has divided this species into three, in which division he has been followed in the “Annals of Botany”; but upon a review of the plants while growing, we are persuaded that they are mere varieties, and have consequently reduced them under one head in this place. 

Our plant is so very closely related to pallida that we are at a loss to find any other distinctions than those of size, scent, and glaucousness of the leaves; to which may be added, the further separation of the ungues of the corolla, and the greater corrugation of the edges of the laminae; but in pallida the former of these touch each other, and the laminae have scarcely any appearance of undulation.

The habitat is not precisely known; from the synonym of “Hortus Eyeslettensis”, we should suppose it to be Portugal.  A rare plant, not mentioned in Hortus Kewensis, and which we have only seen in the collection of Mr. Loddiges, at Hackney, and in that of Mr. Salisbury at the Botanic Garden, Brompton.  The flowers smell like those of the Orange-tree.’  [BM t.870/1805 as Iris aphylla var. gamma]. 

Introduced to Britain as Iris plicata in 1821 but obviously present since at least 1805.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.250/1843].


Published Nov 05, 2009 - 04:39 PM | Last updated Aug 05, 2011 - 04:26 PM

Figured is a bearded iris with pale blue flowers, shaded white and yellow beard.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.870, 1805.

Iris germanica L. subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo var. plicata | BM t.870/1805 as Iris aphylla var. gamma | BHL


Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

Probably Portugal

  • Iris plicata Lam.
  • Iris aphylla Thunb.
  • Iris portugalica Hort.
  • Iris nudicaulis Lam.
  • Iris swertii Lam.


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Iris plicata


Confidence level high