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: IRIS
Habit: Rhizome [bulbs, fleshy roots]. Leaf: 2-ranked in basal fan; cauline 0--few, reduced, often bract-like, without development of distal portion. Inflorescence: +- flat cyme, flowers 1--many. Flower: perianth parts +- clawed; sepals generally wider than petals, spreading or reflexed, occasionally with white area in basal 3/4, this generally with smaller yellow area; petals erect; stamens free [(not)]; ovary inferior, style branches petal-like [(not)], arched over stamens, each with scale-like flap (with stigmas on inner surface) opposite stamen and just below 2-lobed tip (crest), with sepals forming 3, 2-lipped units [(not)]. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, rounded or triangular, chambers 3. Seed: generally compressed, pitted, light to dark brown (red).
Species In Genus: +- 160 species: generally northern temperate. Etymology: (Greek: rainbow, from flower colors) Note: Hybrids between some sympatric species; Iris germanica only sp. in California with bearded sepals.
eFlora Treatment Author: Carol A. Wilson
Habit: Rhizome 3--10 mm diam. Stem: unbranched, 0--30 cm. Leaf: basal 3--14 mm wide; cauline 1--4, bract-like or generally similar to basal. Inflorescence: flowers 2--3; lowest 2 bracts generally alternate, <= 9 cm apart, spreading at flower, outer 5--15 cm, 7--23 mm wide. Flower: perianth tube 5--20 mm, barrel- or funnel-shaped; sepals 4--7 cm, 11--27 mm wide, elliptic; petals 5--7 cm, 5--14 mm wide, narrowly elliptic to elliptic; ovary triangular, style branches 31--45 mm, crests 8--15 mm, stigmas triangular.