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Iris honour for Ronald Rutherford

iris

The iris rutherfordii

Mr Ronald Rutherford, who has been a botanist and plantsman of the School of Biological Sciences for many years, has recently received the honour of having his name given to a new species of iris.

The iris was found the University's Herbarium Curator, Dr Stephen Jury on a joint University of Reading-Natural History Museum expedition to Morocco in 2004.

Dr Jury became familiar with the bulbous irises of the western Mediterranean in 2002 whilst working at the Università "La Sapienza", in Rome with an iris expert, and believed he had come across a brand new species.

He sent a sample to Dr Pablo Vargas, a former Reading post-doc working on related Spanish irises in Madrid, who confirmed his suspicions.

The newly named iris rutherfordii will be included in an account being prepared in French by Reading botanists for the Flore Pratique du Maroc, Morocco's first complete Flora.

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