Iris falcifolia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Iris falcifolia
Scientific classification
Iris falcifolia
Binomial name
Iris falcifolia

None known[1]

Iris falcifolia is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Iris and in the Hexapogon section. It is a rhizomatous perennial, from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It is a small plant, with sickle-shaped greyish-green leaves (hence the name), lilac-violet flowers and darker veining, and a white or yellow beard. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in dry, temperate regions.


It has a thick, short, rhizome,[2][3][4] that produces nut-like segments, one per year, that spread to create small dense tufts of plants.[3][4][5] On top of the rhizome are the fibrous remains of the previous seasons leaves,[3][4][5] underneath are thick fleshy roots.[3][4][5]

It has greyish-green (falcate) curved leaves, that are covered in very small hairs.[4][5][6] They can grow up to 25 cm (10 in) long and 2–4 mm wide.[3][5][7]

It is a dwarf plant,[8] that has a stem (or peduncle) that can grow up to between 10–35 cm (4–14 in) long.[3][7][9] The stem is hidden by 1–2 sheathing leaves.[5]

The stems have 3–4 spathes (leaves of the flower bud), that are 2.5–5 cm (1–2 in) long.[3][4][5] They are greenish tinted purplish, partially membranous, with a hyaline (clear and translucent) margin.[3][5]

The stems hold short pedicels (flower stalks),[3][4][5] and 2–5 flowers,[3][4][6] in spring,[8] between March and April.[3][4][5]

The flowers are 3–4 cm (1–2 in) in diameter,[3][5] come in shades of lilac-violet,[4][5][6] and purple.[7]

It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the 'falls' and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals), known as the 'standards'.[10] The falls are oblong or lanceolate-obovate shaped, and are 3–4 cm (1–2 in) long and 0.6-0.9 cm wide.[3][4][5] They have a yellow,[4] or whitish beard in the middle of the leaf.[2][3][11] They have darker veining.[6][9] The standards are lanceolate, narrow, with a canaliculate (small channel) on the haft (section of the petal closest to the stem).[3][4][5]

It has a small perianth tube, 3 cm (1 in) cm long,[3][5] 1.0 cm long filaments, 1–1.5 cm long anthers,[3][5] and a globose and crenulated (notched) stigma.

It has a pale lilac,[4] and 2.7 cm (1 in) cm long style branches, which are keeled, and have narrow lobes which are 8mm long.[3][5]

After the iris has flowered, it produces an oval seed capsule, which is 2.5–3.5 cm (1–1 in) long.[3][5] The seeds come out of the capsule via lateral slits,[2] they are 5mm long and pear shaped.[3][5] They have a whitish, ring shaped aril (appendage), on the smaller end.[2][3][5]


As most irises are diploid, having two sets of chromosomes, this can be used to identify hybrids and classification of groupings.[10] It has a chromosome count: 2n=18,[9] which was discovered by Zakharyeva in 1985.[6]


It is known in Pakistan as 'khakhobe'.[12][13][14]

The Latin specific epithet falcifolia refers to 'sickle shaped leaves'.[15]

It was found in 1847, in Baluchistan (Pakistan) near the Caspian Sea,[6] by Alexander von Bunge.[7]

It was first published and described by Alexander von Bunge in Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Flora Russlands und der Steppen Central-Asiens (Beitr. Fl. Russl.) Vol.329 on 7 November 1852.[16][17] It was also published in 'Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. St.-Pétersbourg Divers Savans' Vol.7 page505 in 1854.[4][17][18] Later published in 1941, 'Flora Uzbek' Vol.1 page 510, in 1971 in 'Consp. Fl. As. Med.' Vol.2 page130 and by Wendelbo in 'Flora Iranica' Vol.112 page37 in 1975.[18]

Later in 1913, William Rickatson Dykes, when he wrote his book the 'Genus Iris', placed the iris in the Regelia section. Then Lawrence in 1953 and Rodionenko in 1987 placed it in the Psammiris section.[19] In 2004, Carol Wilson carried out a study on various irises including Iris falcifolia. She thought that the iris was misplaced and that it had a bulb instead of a rhizome, so should be placed with the Juno (Scorpiris) section.[19] In 2011, a molecular study was carried out and replaced the iris back within the Hexapogon section.[20]

It was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 2 October 2014.[17]

Iris falcifolia is an accepted name by the RHS.[21]

Distribution and habitat

Iris falcifolia is native to temperate and tropical regions of central Asia.[12][17][20]


It is found in temperate regions of Afghanistan,[17][18][22] Iran,[12][17][18] (in the former states of USSR),[16] in Turkmenistan,[17][18] Uzbekistan,[3][17][18] and Kazakhstan.[3]

It is found in the tropical region of Pakistan,[17][18] (also known as 'Baluchistan').[13][14][12]

They are specifically found in Kara Kum (desert) and Kyzyl Kum (desert) in Kazakhstan.[4][5]


It grows on the clay soils of deserts.[4]

They can be found at an altitude of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) above sea level.[5]


It is hardy to areas with hot dry summers and very cold, nearly dry winters. It could be cultivated in zones similar to N America and parts of Australia.[5]

It is occasionally grown in the UK but it is rare,[5][8][22] also getting it to bloom is even rarer.[11]

It shares a similar geographic range with the Regelia irises.[5]

A specimen was sent to Paris Botanical Garden.[4]


Like many other irises, most parts of the plant are poisonous (rhizome and leaves), if mistakenly ingested can cause diarrhoea, stomach pains and vomiting.[13] The rhizome can also be toxic to domestic animals.[13]


Iris falcifolia is used as a purgative, an oil from the rhizomes was used as an ointment to treat rheumatism.[12][13]

In Baluchistan (Pakistan), 10g of ground flowers (not just the pistils) are mixed with liquid yoghurt and then drunk in the mornings and evenings, as a herbal remedy for dysentery.[14]


  1. ^ "Iris falcifolia Bunge is an accepted name". (The Plant List). 23 March 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Fedorov (Editor)Flora of Russia, The European Part and bordering regions, Volume 4, 2001 (Translation of Flora Evropeiskoi Chasti SSSR, 1979), p. 443, at Google Books
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Pakistan V. 202". (Flora of Pakistan). Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Komarov, V.L. (1935). "Akademiya Nauk SSSR (FLORA of the U.S.S.R.) Vol. IV". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y British Iris Society (1997) A Guide to Species Irises: Their Identification and Cultivation at Google Books
  6. ^ a b c d e f Franco, Alain (5 December 2013). "(SPEC) Iris falcifolia Bunge". (American Iris Society). Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d Cassidy, George E.; Linnegar, Sidney (1987). Growing Irises (Revised ed.). Bromley: Christopher Helm. p. 125. ISBN 0-88192-089-4.
  8. ^ a b c Stebbings, Geoff (1997). The Gardener's Guide to Growing Irises. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. p. 16. ISBN 0715305395.
  9. ^ a b c "Iris summary" (PDF). 14 April 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b Austin, Claire (2005). Irises; A Garden Encyclopedia. Timber Press. ISBN 0881927309.
  11. ^ a b Harris, Gwenda (2011). "Classification Of Irises, Presented At Convention 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e Umberto Quattrocchi CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific names, Synonyms and Etymology at Google Books
  13. ^ a b c d e Goodman, Steven M.; Ghafoor, Abdul (1992). "The Ethnobotany of Southern Balochistan, Pakistan, with Particular Reference to Medicinal Plants". p. 255. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Christian Rätsch The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications, p. 764, at Google Books
  15. ^ Smith, A.W.; Stearn, William T. (1972). A Gardener's Dictionary of Plant Names (Revised ed.). Cassell and Company (published 1963). p. 139. ISBN 0304937215.
  16. ^ a b "Iridaceae Iris falcifolia Bunge". (International Plant Names Index). Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Iris falcifolia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Khassanov, F. O.; Rakhimova, N. (2012). "Taxonomic revision of the genus Iris L. (Iridaceae Juss.) for the flora of Central Asia" (PDF). Stapfia. 97: 174–179. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  19. ^ a b Wilson, Carol A. (2004). "Phylogeny of the genus Iris based on DNA sequence data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 33: 402–412. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.06.013. PMID 15336674. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  20. ^ a b Ikinci, Nursel; Hall, Tony; Lledó, M. Dolores; Clarkson, James J.; Tillie, Nico; Seisums, Arnis; Saito, Takeshi; Harley, Madeline; Chase, Mark W. (2011). "Molecular phylogenetics of the juno irises, Iris subgenus Scorpiris (Iridaceae), based on six plastid markers" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 167: 281–300. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2011.01176.x. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Iris falcifolia". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  22. ^ a b Dykes, William (2009). "Handbook of Garden Irises" (PDF). (The Group for Beardless Irises). Retrieved 1 November 2014.


  • Czerepanov, S. K. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR).
  • Mathew, B. 1981. The Iris. 65–66.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of (West) Pakistan.
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. 1963–. Flora iranica.

External links

  • Media related to Iris falcifoliaa at Wikimedia Commons
  • Iris falcifolia in South Tajikistan
  • Data related to Iris falcifolia at Wikispecies
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Iris falcifolia"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA