The Iris family, Iridaceae, is distributed throughout much of the world and is one of the most important horticultural families (Manning and Goldblatt, 2008). Iris sanguinea is a native perennial herb of northeastern China and Inner Mongolia, where it often grows in swamps, wet grasslands, and sunny slopes (Zhao, 1985). I. sanguinea has bright flowers and distinctive flower patterns; is tolerant to cold, drought, salt, and alkaline soils; and is resistant to pollution. It also exhibits rapid propagation; strong resistance to diseases, pests, and cold; and has a high ornamental value. It has wide ornamental applications in northern China (Shang and Wang, 2014). Wild I. sanguinea in China are rich in germplasm, but only produce a single flower color (Wang et al., 2013). In recent years, hybridization of wild I. sanguinea has resulted in successful breeding of numerous, colorful flowering cultivars. These new hybridized cultivars include Zidie, a rose–purple cultivar (Dong et al., 2014); Beautiful Lotus, a light-purple cultivar [Royal Swedish NCS color no. S3030-R60B] by crossing I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (Wang et al., 2016); Tingdie, a blue–violet cultivar [Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) N89B] (Wu et al., 2017); and Bandie, a blue–violet cultivar (RHS 96B) (Wang and Wang, 2017). However, currently, there are no new cultivars with large and brightly colored flowers. In 2011, King, a new violet (RHS N88B) cultivar, was selected from the progeny of I. sanguinea and seed-harvested under natural growing conditions. King, as a new cultivar, has larger flowers with a violet perianth, blooms in June (Harbin, northeast China), and exhibits an extended period of green foliage.
Manning, J. & Goldblatt, P. 2008 The Iris Family: Natural History & Classification. Timber Press, Portland, OR
Wang, Z.Z., Wang, C., Yang, Y. & Liang, C.B. 2013 Research progress and development trend of wild perennial flower Iris sanguinea Southern Hort. 24 2 1423 1424
Wang, L., Xia, D.M., Li, Y.N., Peng, H.M., Chen, H.L. & Fan, L.J. 2016 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Beautiful Lotus’ Acta Hort. Sin. 43 8 1423 1424
Zhao, Y.T. 1985 China flora. Vol. 16, no. 1. Science Press, Beijing, China