Iris, an ornamental genus, has more than 260 species that are widely distributed over the Northern Hemisphere (Kossak, 2012). I. sanguinea is native to China, Korea, Russia, Japan, and Mongolia, and it has strong resistance to diseases, pests, and cold (Bi et al., 2011; Fu, 2016; Shang and Wang, 2014). It is a valuable landscape species because of its large brightly colored flowers with a distinctive butterfly-like flower pattern. I. sanguinea has been widely cultivated in many countries (Zhao et al., 2000).
Wild genetic sources of I. sanguinea are abundant, but the flowers are mainly blue violet (RHS N88A) (Wang and Wang, 2017). Flower color has become one of the primary interests in I. sanguinea breeding. To develop new cultivars with unique flower colors, people often make crosses between I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. I. sanguinea f. albiflora flowers are white. In the past 3 years, breeders have released several I. sanguinea cultivars such as ‘Bandie’ (Wang and Wang, 2017), ‘Forest Fairy’ (Kuwantai et al., 2018), and ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ (Zhao et al., 2018). In 2011, a new I. sanguinea cultivar was selected from the hybrids of I. sanguinea (flower color RHS N88A) × I. sanguinea f. albiflora (flower color RHS N155C) and designated as ‘NEFU-1’ in 2019. Compared with its progenitors, I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, ‘NEFU-1’ has different colors between the inner perianth and outer perianth. ‘NEFU-1’ has a lilac inner perianth (RHS 84D) and a violet (RHS N87C) outer perianth.
Bi, X.Y., Lou, Q. & Zheng, Y. 2011 Studies on compatibility of interspecific hybridization between Iris lactea Pall. var. chinensis Koidz. and I. sanguinea Hormen Acta Hort. 38 5 109 111
Fu, Y. 2016 The preliminary study on coloring mechanism of Iris sanguinea with different flower colors and making technology of three-dimensional drying flowers. Northeast Forestry University
Zhao, Y.T., Henry, J.N. & Brian, M. 2000 Iridaceae, p. 301. In: Z.Y. Wu, P.H. Raven, and D.Y. Hong (eds.). Flora of China. Vol. 24. Sci. Press & Missouri Botanical Garden, Beijing, China