Common Name: IRIS FAMILY
Habit: [(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.
Genera In Family: +- 65 genera, +- 2050 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Crocus, Dietes, Freesia, Gladiolus, Iris, Sisyrinchium). Note: Gladiolus italicus Mill., Gladiolus tristis L. are urban weeds. Sparaxis grandiflora (D. Delaroche) Ker Gawl., Sparaxis tricolor (Schneev.) Ker Gawl. are waifs.
eFlora Treatment Author: Peter Goldblatt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Habit: [Annual] perennial herb; rhizomes compact. Stem: 1 or tufted, +- flat, winged, nodes well above basal leaves with leaves or not, each with >= 1 flower-branch. Leaf: bases overlapped, sheathing. Inflorescence: flowers in umbel-like cymes; bracts 2, equal in length or not, margins translucent. Flower: perianth red-purple, +- blue, violet, yellow (white), parts mucronate, +- alike, outer generally wider; filaments +- free to +- fused. Seed: ovoid, smooth or pitted.
Species In Genus: 100+ species: western hemisphere. Etymology: (Latin, sus, pig, and Greek, rhynchos, snout, alluding to swine digging the roots of some bulbous plant for food, spoken of by Pliny and Theophrastus (W.J. Hooker, 1830). The reason for applying the name to a genus of New World Iridaceae was apparently arbitrary.) Note: Use of treatments prior to +- 2003 often results in misidentification. Sisyrinchium douglasii moved to Olsynium.
Unabridged Note: Use of treatments prior to +- 2003 often results in misidentification due to inconsistent or incorrect use of morphological terms and the fact the taxa look very much alike.
eFlora Treatment Author: Anita F. Cholewa