Iridaceae Iris

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iridaceae (Iris)


a family of monocotyledonous plants, including perennial herbs with rhizomes, corms, or bulbs. There are some subshrubs. The leaves are ensiform or linear. The flowers are bisexual, with a petaloid perianth. There are three stamens. The style is usually composed of three lobes (sometimes expanded and petal-like). The ovary is inferior and is almost always triloculate; the fruit is a capsule. There are approximately 60 genera (1, 400 species), found primarily in tropical and subtropical regions (particularly in South Africa and in tropical and subtropical America). Some species are found in temperate regions. In the USSR there are approximately 120 species (eight genera). There are many ornamentals among the Iridaceae, including species of the genera Iris, Gladiolus, and Crocus. Some species of the genus Iris are used in cosmetics. Saffron crocus {Crocus sativus) yields the seasoning saffron.


Flora SSSR, vol. 4. Leningrad, 1935.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.