This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Iris Spuria. Spurious Iris.
Corolla 6-petala, inaequalis, petalis alternis geniculato-patentibus. Stigmata petaliformia, cucullato-bilabiata. Conf. Thunb. Diss. de Iride.
IRIS spuria imberbis foliis linearibus, scapo subtrifloro tereti, germinibus hexagonis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. p. 91. Jacq. Fl. austr. tab. 4.
IRIS pratensis angustifolia, folio foetido. Bauh. Pin. 32.
The greater blue Flower-de-luce with narrow leaves. Park. Parad. p. 184.
Some plants afford so little diversity of character, that an expressive name can scarcely be assigned them; such is the present plant, or Linnaeus would not have given it the inexpressive name of spuria, nor we have adopted it.
This species is distinguished by the narrowness of its leaves, which emit a disagreeable smell when bruised, by the colour of its flowers, which are of a fine rich purple inclining to blue, and by its hexangular germen.
It is a native of Germany, where, as Professor Jacquin informs us, it grows in wet meadows; is a hardy perennial, thrives in our gardens in almost any soil or situation, flowers in June, and is propagated by parting its roots in Autumn.