The book of the Iris
By Richard Irwin Lynch, Henry Ewbank (1904)
I. Barnumae, Foster and Baker in Gard. Chron., 1888, ii. 182; Bot. Mag., t. 7050. The rhizome is slender and fleshy, with the usual Oncocyclus character; the new buds become early separated by a constriction from the old stock, so that the growths are not massed together. The leaves are about 6 in. long by rather less than 1/2 in. broad, pointed and somewhat falcate, of pale glaucous green. The stems are rather more than an inch to about 6 in. long; the spathe-valves about 2 1/2 in. long, rather exceeding the tube, flushed with purple at the tip, but otherwise green till long after flowering. The perianth-tube is as long as the ovary; falls obovate-cuneate, 2 in. long by 1 in. broad, with no distinction between claw and blade; the latter sharply reflexed, of dark venous red-purple with darker veins; beard triangular of fluffy hairs, which are close set, yellow tipped with purple, many hairs straggling away from the triangular outline of the mass of the beard; standards with obovate-orbicular blade about 3 in. long by 2 1/2 in. broad, at first gradually and at last suddenly narrowed to a short claw, on which are a few hairs the colour of lighter red purple than the falls, but with more conspicuous veins. The style branches are an inch long, nearly horizontal, made reddish by red-purple dots and a median streak on yellowish ground; the crests triangular, much recurved, finely serrate; the stigma with a serrate purple edge. The flowers are produced in May or June, and in a warm atmosphere have a delightful fragrance. It is a native of Van in Armenia, and was sent to Sir Michael Foster by Mrs Barnum, after whom it is named.