Merhaba from Aksaray
Merhaba from Aksaray,
Today we traveled from Tarsus to Aksaray searching in the mountainous areas around Ponzanti for Iris biliottii and I. junonia. We had only vague references to their occurrence in the area and there is some doubt that I. biliottii is distinct from I. germanica which is planted in cemeteries throughout western Turkey. We found an Iris in flower fitting the description for I. biliottii at two sites along the road. There were Iris that we assumed to be I. germanica planted in a village below this area but these were far from flowering. We traveled into the mountains on several side roads and searched unsuccessfully for I. junonia. As it neared darkness we found a small Iris that fit the description of I. junonia along the main road at about 1350 meter elevation. It was just beginning to flower. We were not certain if it was the species because the site was a small remnant of rocky hillside and quite disturbed. Later Erdogan looked at the specimen and had some doubts. He felt it was slightly too tall and had only found the species once and that had been at 1750 meters. This is an area we would like to return to and search more thoroughly.
Tomorrow we will backtrack from Aksaray to search for I. sprengeri, our main target for this area. We are a little early for this species but are hopeful that it will be flowering. It is only about 4-6 cm tall so will be difficult to locate even if in flower.