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 Susiana. Chalcedonian Iris.
Cor. 6-petala, inaequalis, petalis alternis geniculato-patentibus. Stigmata petaliformia, cucullato-bilabiata.
IRIS Susiana barbata foliis ensiformibus glabris, scapo unifloro, petalis rotundatis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. p. 88.
IRIS Susiana flore maximo et albo nigricante. Bauh. Pin. 31.
The great Turkey Flower-de-luce. Park. Parad. 179.
This species, by far the most magnificent of the Iris tribe, is a native of Persia, from a chief city of which it takes the name of Surfing; Linnaeus informs us, that it was imported into Holland from Constantinople in 1573.
Though an inhabitant of a much warmer climate than our own, it thrives readily in the open borders of our gardens; and, in certain favourable situations, flowers freely about the latter end of May or beginning of June. It succeeds best in a loamy soil and sunny exposure, with a pure air moisture, which favours the growth of most of the genus, is injurious and sometimes even fatal to this species.
As it rarely ripens its seeds with us, it is generally propagated by parting its roots in autumn. These are also usually imported from Holland, and may be had of the importers of bulbs at a reasonable rate.
Being liable to be destroyed by seasons unusually severe, it will be prudent to place a few roots of it in pots, either in the greenhouse or in a hot-bed frame during the winter.
It bears forcing well.