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IRIDACEAE IRIS FAMILY

Peter Goldblatt, except as noted

[(Annual), shrub], perennial herb generally from [bulb], corm, or rhizome. Stem: generally erect, generally ± round in ×-section. Leaf: generally basal (few cauline), 2-ranked, ± sword-shaped, blade edge-wise to stem, with midvein or not; bases overlapped, sheathing. Inflorescence: generally ± terminal; spikes, umbel-like cymes, or flowers 1; flowers in spikes or 1 subtended by 2 subopposite flower bracts; umbel-like cymes enclosed by 2 subopposite, generally large, leaf-like inflorescence bracts, including various flower bracts. Flower: bisexual (unisexual), radial, with stamens erect, enclosing style, or bilateral, with stamens, style to 1 side, stamens not enclosing style; perianth radial, parts free or generally fused into tube above ovary, generally petal-like, in 2 series of 3, outer ± like inner (or not, in Iris, parts in that genus called sepals, petals), upper ± like lower or not; stamens 3, attached at base of outer 3 perianth parts or in tube, generally free; ovary inferior [(superior)], [(1)]3-chambered, placentas axile [(parietal)], style 1, branches 3, entire to 2-branched, thread- or petal-like with stigma abaxial, proximal to tip. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: few to many.
± 65 genera, ± 2050 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Crocus, Dietes, Freesia, Gladiolus, Iris, Sisyrinchium). [Goldblatt & Manning 2008 The Iris Family: Natural History and Classification. Timber Press] Gladiolus italicus Mill., Gladiolus tristis L. are urban weeds. Sparaxis grandiflora (D. Delaroche) Ker Gawl., Sparaxis tricolor (Schneev.) Ker Gawl. are waifs. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Iridaceae

SPARAXIS SPARAXIS
Perennial herb; corm ovoid, cover fibrous. Stem: erect, stiff, branched or not. Leaf: generally basal, 2-ranked, < 3 dm, lanceolate to ± sickle-shaped, midvein prominent. Inflorescence: spike; flowers few, scattered; flower bracts papery, crinkled, streaked with brown, cut into lance-linear segments in upper half or at tip. Flower: radial or bilateral; perianth funnel-shaped or cylindric, tube < to > lobes; stamens free; style branches entire. Fruit: capsule, ovoid, firm. Seed: several, large, spheric, shiny, coat hard.
15 species: southern Africa. (Greek: to tear, from cut bracts) [Goldblatt 1999 Fl Southern Africa 7(2:1):150–168]
Unabridged references: [Goldblatt 1969 J S African Bot 35:219–252]
Many species, hybrids cultivated as ornamental.

Key to Sparaxis

Previous taxon: Sisyrinchium longipes
Next taxon: Sparaxis grandiflora

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Aug 29 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sparaxis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9442, accessed on Aug 29 2014

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