Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Elizabeth McClintock, except as specified

Perennial, bulbed, cormed, or rhizomed
Stem generally erect
Leaves generally basal (a few cauline), 2-ranked, ± linear, generally grass-like, generally sharply folded along midrib; bases overlapping, sheathing
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, ± terminal, or flowers solitary; bracts ± like leaf bases, sheathing
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium fused to ovary; perianth parts generally fused into tube above ovary, generally petal-like, in 2 series of 3, outer (sepals) generally ± like inner (petals); stamens 3, generally attached to sepals, filaments fused below into a tube or not; ovary inferior, 3-chambered, placentas generally axile, style 1, each of 3 branches entire or 2-branched or -lobed, petal-like or not, with stigma on under surface instead of at tip
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds few–many
Genera in family: 80 genera, ± 1500 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Iris, Gladiolus, Crocus, Freesia ).


Perennial; corm generally round with fibrous covering
Stems erect, generally unbranched
Inflorescence: spike; flowers few–many, each subtended by 2, generally papery bracts
Flower: perianth ± salverform, > stamens, tube straight, slender, lobes spreading, ± equal; filaments generally free; style ± = stamens, branches each entire
Fruit thin-walled
Seeds many, small
Species in genus: ± 45 species: s Africa
Etymology: (Greek: bird lime, from sticky sap of some species)


I. maculata L.

Stem 20–50 cm, unbranched
Leaves: basal 5–8, 10–35 cm, < 5 mm wide, often twisted, veins several
Inflorescence generally 4–12-flowered, dense
Flower: perianth 5–10 mm, lobes > tube, 1.5–2 cm, < 1 cm wide, spreading, orange to yellow, dark basally; anthers 7–9 mm, > filaments
Ecology: Uncommon. Urban areas, disturbed coastal dunes
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa

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