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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 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.