Morphologic features of the Crimean species of Iris pumila L. and its potential use in ornamental horticulture.
Iris pumila L. is one of three wild species of the Iris genus in the Crimea. Its natural habitat is quite large NDASH from central Europe to the southern spurs of the Ural range. The species is listed in Red Book of the Russian Federation (2008), of the Republic of the Crimea (2015), of the city of Sevastopol (2018) as a rare species. In the Crimea I. pumila grows as single plants and clones with a diameter of from 7.0 to 85.0 cm, including from 7 to 420 shoots, the share of generative shoots of which are from 3 to 45%. The morphological features of I. pumila in natural populations growing on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula were studied. It has been found that the length of the outer perianth lobes is from 2.5 to 5.6 cm, the width of the outer lobes is from 0.8 to 2.0 cm, the length of the inner lobes is from 2.3 to 5.3 cm, the width of the inner lobes is from 0.7 to 2.7 cm, the height of the generative shoot is 5.5 to 16.5 cm. The maximum size of flowers and generative shoots, as well as the minimum variation of these indicators were noted on the coastal slopes of the southern exposure (Dzhan-Kutoran mountain) and on the shore of the salt lake Syvash in the north of the Peninsula. Under the same conditions the largest and most floriferous clones were discovered. The smallest size of flowers and generative shoots were found in the piedmont Crimea (Arman-Kaya mountain). I. pumila in the Crimea is characterized by a significant diversity of coloring of perianth lobes. Plants with flowers of brown-yellow, yellow, purple, lilac-blue, lilac-purple, white color of various shades were found. In the Steppe Crimea the population with three distinct types of color (with brown-yellow, lilac-blue and purple flowers) was identified. Taking into account that the introduction of rare species in the culture of botanical gardens is one of the strategies for their conservation, we have introduced plants of I. pumila with different color variants of flowers. The species is promising for use in rockeries and in the form of group plantings in sunny areas, as well as for breeding work with miniature dwarf beardeds group.