Herbs with corms, bulbs or rhizomes, equitant, 2-ranked leaves and spathaceous bracts. Perianth tube adherent to the ovary, segments in 2 sets, often unequal and convolute in bud. Stamens 3, alternate with the petals, anthers extrorse. Style 1 stigmas 3, often petaloid. Capsule 3-valved, 3-celled, loculicidal. Seeds many, with hard, fleshy albumen. Figs. 76, 151, 425.

Genera 52, species 550, chiefly natives of the Cape of Good Hope, or of the middle of Europe or N. America.

Properties. - More remarkable for beauty than utility. Some of them are cathartic, as Iris tuberosa. The aromatic orris root is the dried rhizome of Iris florentina of S. Europe. Suffron consists of the dried orange-colored stigmas of Crocus sativus.

Genera

§ Flowers irregular, somewhat bilabiate, nodding.............................................

GLADIOLUS.

7

§ Flowers regular and equilateral, mostly erect. (*)

* Sepals similar to the petals in form, size and position, (a)

a Stamens distinct. Tube very long, partly under ground........................

CROCUS.

6

a Stamens distinct. Tube short or none above the ovary...........................

IXIA.

5

a Stamens monadelphons. Flowers small, blue. Plant grass-like...........

SlSYRINCHIUM.

4

* Sepals larger than the petals and otherwise dissimilar, (b)

b Stamens monadelphous. Petals spreading, panduriform..........................

TIGRIDIA.

3

b Stamens distinct, - stigmas slender, on a slender style...............................

NEMASTYLIS.

2

- stigmas petaloid, on a very short style.......................

IRIS.

1

1. IRIS, L. Flower-de-Luce. (Name from the Greek, signifying rainbow; on account of the varied color of the flowers.) Sepals 3, reflexed, larger than the 3 erect petals; stamens distinct; style short or 0; stigmas petaloid, covering the stamens. - Herbs from tuberous, horizontal rhizomes, with ensiform lvs., and large showy lis.

§ Stems leafy, tall (1 to 3f), mostly bearing several flowers. (*)

* Sepals and petals beardless. 'Wild plants seldom cultivated, (a)

a Leaves linear, grass-like. Ovary and pod 2-grooved on the sides.....................

No. 1

a Leaves sword-shaped. Flowers blue. Sepals much larger than petals...............

Nos. 2 - 4

a Leaves sword-shaped. Flowers tawny or copper-colored, Petals reflexed

No. 5

* Sepals or perianth bearded. Cultivated exotics, (b)

b Stem many-flowered. Flowers blue or whitish. Sepals and petals notched.............

No. 6

b Stem many-flowered. Flowers deep blue. Spatbes also colored...................

I. Germanica. †

b Stem 1-flowered. flower striped. Petals reflexed............................................

I. SUSIANA. †

§ Stem or scape low (2 to 60 and nearly leafless, mostly 1-flowered. (**)

** Sepals beardless, but with 3 longitudinal folds (crested).........................................

Nos. 7, 8

** Sepals beardless, and also crestless. Flower blue................................................

No. 9

** Sepals bearded in a longitudinal line. Flowers bright blue..................................

No. 10

1 I. Virgmica L. Boston* Iris. St. round, slender, few-flowered; lvs. linear, long; fls. beardless; ova. triangular, the side doubly grooved. - In similar situa. tions with the next, readily distinguished by its very slender habit. Mass. to N. J. Rhizoma fleshy. Stem smooth, 1 - 2" in diam., 1 - 2f high, branching at top and bearing 2 - 6 flowers. Bracts at the base of the branches withering. Leaves few, alternate, grass-like, 6 - 10' long, amplexicaul. Sepals narrow, yellow, edged with purple. Petals linear-lanceolate. Jn. (I. prismatica Ph.)

2 I. versicolor L. Common Blue Flag. St terete, flexuous; lvs. ensiform; fls. beardless; petals as long as the, stigmas; ova. triangular, with concave sides and roundish angles. - Wet grounds, U. S. and Can. Rhizoma large, horizontal, acrid. Stem 2 - 3f high, acute on one side, often branched, bearing several large, showy flowers. Leaves a foot long, 1/2 - 1' wide, erect, sheathing at base. Sepals spatu-late, purple, the claw variegated with green, yellow and white, with purple lines. Petals erect, paler, a little shorter than the stigmas. Style short, bearing 3-peta-loid stigmas which are bifid at the end, purple or violet, concealing the stamens beneath. Anther oblong; seeds flat. Jn.

3 I. hexagona Walt. Six-angled Iris. Lvs. sword-shaped, longer than the terete, flexuous stem; spathe 1-flowered; sep. spatulate, rounded at end, crenu-late, reflexed, much larger than the oblong-spatulate petals, with a longitudinal, glandular-yellow lino; filam. dilated, linear; stig, deeply 2-cleft; ova. with 3 deeply furrowed angles, caps. 6-angled. - Swamps and pools, N. Car. to Fla. and Ala., frequent. St. 2f high. Fls. bright blue, the sepals variegated with purple, yellow and white. Apr. - Jn.

4 I. tripetala Walt. Three-petaled Iris. Lvs. linear-ensiform, shorter than the terete, slender stem; spathe lanceolate, 1-flowered; sep. longer than tube, beardless and nearly crestless, many times longer than the rudimentary, 3-toothed petals; stig. 2-toothed near the base; caps, obscurely 3-angled, acuminate. - Ponds S. Car. and Ga. (Bachman). Rare. St. about 2f high, from a creeping rhizome. Fls. purple. The petals mere rudiments, much shorter than the stigmas. Apr. May.

5 I. cuprea Ph. St. tall, flexuous, angled on one side; lvs. broad-ensiform, as long as the stem; spathe often 2-flowered; sep. obovate, emarginate, larger than the petals, all reflexed; stig. linear, dilated at base, half as long as the petals; caps, sharply 6-angled, ventricous. - In river swamps, Ga. to La. (Hale). Sts. 3f high, 4 to 10-flowered. Perianth tawny (Elliott), of a beautiful copper color veined with purple (Pursh), limb spreading 3'. Apr., May. (Ell.), Jl. (Ph.)

6 I. sambucina L. Flower-de-Luce. Fr. Fleur-de-lis. St. many-flowered, longer than the leaves; segm. of the perianth emarginate, outer ones flat; lvs. bent inwards at the point; spathe membranaceous at the apex; fls, bearded, lower ones pedunculate; stig. with acute, serrate divisions. - Native of the south of Europe. Common in gardens. The prevailing color of the flower is light blue, often fading to white. May. †

7 I. cristata Ait. Crested Iris. Lvs. lanceolate-ensiform, as long as the low, compressed scape; tube of the perianth very slender (2' long), exceeding the spathe or the segments; sep. oblong, obtuse, entire, each with a triple, wavy, longitudinal crest or fold instead of a beard, and equaling the narrower petals; ova. acutely 3angled. - Pine barrens, Mid. Ga. and S. Car. (Bachman). St. and lvs. 3 to 5', high. Fls. blue, the sepals in the middle yellow. Feb., Mar.

8 I. lacustris Nutt. Northern Lake Iris. Lvs. ensiform, longer than the low, compressed, 1-flowered scape; seg. of the perianth nearly equal, obtuse, emarginate, the sepals scarcely crested, us long as the slender tube; caps, turbinate, 3-sided, margined. - Islands of Lake Huron, near Mackinaw, Nuttall. Roots extensively creeping. Leaves 2 - 5' by 3 - 4", those of the scape bract-like. Scape 1 to 2' high. Fls. pale blue, the sepals rather broader. Jn.

9 I. vernata L. Vernal Iris. Lvs. linear-ensiform, rigid, rather longer than the low, 1-flowered scape; tube of the perianth filiform (2' long), about equaling the length of the segm.; sep. and petals nearly equal, oblong-obovate, obtuse, neither crested nor bearded, stig. deeply bifid. - Hilly woods of the interior S. States. St. or scape 3 to 5' high, sheathed with colored bracts. Fls. pale blue, the sepals with an oblong, or orange yellow, spotted stripe. Mar., Apr.

10 I. pumila L. Dwarf Iris. Scape very short (3 to 6), 1-flowered; spathe shorter than the tube; sep. reflexed, narrower than the erect petals. - A small species from Hungary, cultivated in the edgings, of walks. Lvs. numerous, broad ensiform, suberect. Fls. large, deep purple, appearing in early spring, †