Merhaba from Soghut 5/18/11

Today was a great day.  We traveled through the mountains around Soghut searching for I. attica and I. purpureobracteata.  Clyde and I simultaneously saw Iris leaves on a hillside.  The plants were growing in cracks on large rock slabs.  We were surprised by the habitat and agreed that it was not the habitat we encountered in the Denzil district.  Possibly if we had been able to climb higher into the mountain we would have found these rock slabs and I. purpureobracteata but we were doubtful.  We searched the area for several hours but only found the one population.  We saw several similar habitats with our binoculars that were some distance from roads where the species may be present.  I. purpureobracteata is taller than most and conspicuous so should have been easy to spot.  We searched and found two flowers (yellow) that were open while all the others had faded or were dehisced.  The bracts had the characteristic purple tinge and some bracts were quite purple. Almost all of the plants had large fruits by this time.

 

 

As we returned to our hotel we decided to search a final rock road cut just before the rural road merged onto a 4-lane highway.  I was searching the road cut while Clyde climbed to the flat above.  I decided to join him on the flat and found a great site with scrub oak, small rhododendrons, orchids, tulips and Iris.  We had found I. attica.  The habitat was again specific and unlike the habitats we had been seeing I. suaveolens in.  It was raining and nearing darkness but we stayed and photographed at the site for about an hour.  The plant was plentiful yet hard to spot due to its short stature.  It was also past flowering and we did not find a single flower to photograph.