Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

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

IRIDACEAE

IRIS FAMILY

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 ).

SPARAXIS

HARLEQUIN FLOWER

Perennial; corms papery to fibrous
Stems erect, < 45 cm, stiff, branched or not
Leaves generally basal, 2-rowed, < 3 dm, lanceolate to ± sickle-shaped, veined, with false midrib
Inflorescence: spike; flowers few, scattered; bracts paired, papery, streaked with brown, cut into lanceolate-linear segments in upper half or irregularly at tip
Flower bisexual, generally radial; perianth funnel-shaped, tube ± = lobes; stamens 3, free, < style, stigma 3-lobed
Fruit: capsule, spheric, firm
Seeds several, spheric to angled, large, generally shiny
Species in genus: 6 species: s Africa
Etymology: (Greek: to tear, from torn appearance of bracts)
Reference: [Goldblatt 1969 J S Africa Bot 35:219–252]

Introduced

S. tricolor (Schneev.) Ker Gawl.


Flower: perianth tube < 10 mm, lobes light purple to orange, brown, purple-brown or cream-white to pinkish, with yellow center; bracts irregularly cut into lanceolate-linear segments at tip
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed sites
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa

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