Merhaba from Erzurum 5/20/11
Today was a travel day as we packed to meet the airport security needs, flew to Erzurum, and rented a car. We found a reasonably priced hotel, washed clothes and organized for the second portion of the trip. The hotel is in the tire district and also is a congregation area for taxis. The streets are crazy here as in most cities, towns and villages. Cars are often double parked along narrow streets many of which are one-way and not straight. You might spot your destination but reaching it can be a challenge.
Our goal in this region is to travel to the Van district to find the bearded Iris, I. paradoxa, I. iberica subsp. elegantissima, Iris sari and I. barnumae. There are two taxa of I. barnumae in this area, subsp. barnumae (purple) and a form of the subspecies, forma urmiensis (yellow). I think there is only one I. paradoxa near Van, which is considered forma choschab. Other Iris that are in or near the Van district are I. pseudocaucasica, Iris caucasica subsp. taurica and I. persica (subg. Scorpiris). These last Iris should be finished flowering and may be difficult to find. We have seen all except I. pseudocaucasica on earlier trips to Turkey. We have also seen I. iberica subsp. elegantissima and Iris sari on earlier trips.