Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Iridaceae

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 38 (1753).

Derivation: Greek iris, the rainbow; referring to the diverse colours of the flowers.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Irises.

Evergreen glabrous perennial herbs with rhizomes (sometimes deciduous outside S.Aust.); leaves mostly basal, sword-shaped to linear, flat, equitant.

Scape terete, robust, erect, simple or few-branched, rarely absent; inflorescence cymose, with herbaceous spathes; flowers one to few in each spathe, pedicellate, short-lived, actinomorphic, each subtended by a shorter bract; perianth tube cylindrical to funnel-shaped; outer 3 lobes patent to deflexed; inner lobes erect, often smaller; stamens inserted on the tube, free, equilateral; anthers linear, basifixed; style branches 3, flattened, petaloid-winged, each arched over a stamen and appressed to the corresponding outer perianth lobe, with an erect 2-fid terminal crest exceeding the flap-shaped stigma.

Capsule ovoid to clavate, trigonous, leathery, shortly exserted from the spathes; seeds few, large, globose to angular.

Distribution:  About 300 species in the Northern Hemisphere.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Flowers several; perianth tube to 2.5 cm long
2. Outer perianth-segments bearded with a patch of erect yellow hairs
I. germanica 1.
2. Outer perianth-segments glabrous
I. orientalis 2.
1. Flower solitary, perianth tube 10-20 cm long
I. unguicularis 3.

Author: Not yet available

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