Iris paradoxa
The book of the Iris
By Richard Irwin Lynch, Henry Ewbank (1904)

I. paradoxa, Stev.; Regel, Gartenflora, t. 386, fig. 3; Garden, xxxii. 584; figured from Cambridge Bot. Mag., t. 7081. Of distinct and desirable Irises this is one of the most strange. It is grotesquely beautiful, and clearly impresses itself in all hybrids made with it. The rhizome is short. The leaves are linear, 3 to 6 in. long at flowering time, glaucous, very falcate, 1\4 in. broad. The stem is 3 to 6 in. or more in length; spathe 2 to 3 in. long ; valves green, membranous, and lanceolate; pedicel very short. The perianth-tube is cylindrical, under an inch long; falls tongue-shaped, dark brown in the type, 1 to 1 1/2 in. long, with a very small dark purple orbicular blade 1/2 in. broad, and a claw with dense velvety beard, and ground colour of crimson or deep pink. The standards are erect, white in the type, 1 1/2 to 2 in. broad, 2 to 3 in. long, orbicular with short claw; style branches an inch long, with small deltoid crests. This species, by its comparatively small and tongue-shaped falls, is always unmistakable. It is a native of Persia, Georgia, and the Caucasus. There are several varieties.

var. violacea, Baker.

Standards dark violet; falls tinged with violet.

var. choschab.

Standards white, distinctly and delicately veined with lilac violet. (Figured in Garden, April 6th, 1901, p. 248, and in Gard. Chron., Feb. 16th, 1901, p. 104.)

According to my experience this is the most easily grown of the Oncocycli. The form choschab, imported by Mr C. G. van Tubergen, is perhaps the typical form, which, among others, was described by Steven.

Several hybrids have been raised. "Paravar," a cross from I. variegata, by Sir Michael Foster, is figured in the Gardeners' Chronicle, June 22, 1901, and on the next page is figured the hybrid "Alkmene," raised with I. Swerti by Messrs Dammann & Co. Sir Michael Foster has also raised hybrids with I. sambucina, I. Lorteti, I. iberica, I. lupina, and I. Meda. He has combined paradoxa, Korolkowi, and pallida.