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see irisiris,
common name for members of the genus Iris of the Iridaceae, a family of perennial herbs that includes the crocuses, freesias, and gladioli. The family is characterized by thickened stem organs (bulbs, corms, and rhizomes) and by linear or sword-shaped
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the rootstock of several species of iris, which contains an essential oil with the fragrance of violet. Orrisroot is used as an aromatic agent. The oil of the species Iris germanica, I.florentina, and I. pallida is used commercially. The yield of oil constitutes 0.1–0.2 percent of the weight of raw rootstock. The oil is extracted from the rootstock with a weak solution of sulfuric acid, which is then driven off with steam. The violet fragrance is due to the ketone irone, which constitutes approximately 12–15 percent of the oil.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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