This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"A. G.," Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass., writes: "On page 197, referring to Iris cristata, with its 'very long tube to the flower', you remark that 'possibly those versed in botanical philosophy may tell us what kind of bee or moth has the contract to draw the honey and cross-fertilize the flowers'. Without pretending to much botanical philosophy, I know enough of botanical structure to inform you that the so-called long tube is solid, so that no long proboscis is required".
[When making the note on the length of the "tube" the Editor had in his mind, a remark once made by Professor Asa Gray on Aquilegia longis-sima, that "it would be interesting to know what lepidopterous insect can make use of these long nectaries" or words to this effect, and he had long tubes in general in his mind, rather than any one particular kind. It is therefore the more remarkable that the Editor should be caught napping by the same wide-awake botanist.
However, the Editor is tempted to throw part of the blame for his ignorance on the authors of botanical text-books, who are accustomed to insist on precision in the use of botanical terms, and yet describe Iris cristata with "the tube of the perianth very slender," when it appears that the cylindrical base is not a tube at all. The philosophical question involved is still an open one. - Ed. G. M].