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.
Common Name: SPARAXIS
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 15 species: southern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: to tear, from cut bracts) Note: Many species, hybrids cultivated as ornamental.