6. Herbertia Sweet, Brit. Fl. Gard. 3: plate 222. 1827.
Pleat-leaf iris [for William Herbert, 1778–1847, prominent British botanist and specialist in bulbous plants]
Herbs, perennial, from tunicate, ovoid bulbs; tunic brown, dry, brittle, papery. Stems simple or branched. Leaves few, basal larger; blade pleated, linear-lanceolate. Inflorescences rhipidiate, few-flowered; spathes green, unequal, inner spathe exceeding outer, apex brown, acute, usually dry. Flowers short-lived, erect, unscented, actinomorphic; tepals spreading, distinct, blue to mauve with white markings, unequal, outer whorl more than 2 times inner; filaments connate; anthers diverging, appressed to style branches; style slender, branching at apex of filament column; branches diverging from base, flattened, divided apically into 2 slender lobes, apically stigmatic. Capsules ovoid, apex truncate. Seeds many, prismatic; seed coat brown. x = 7.
Species ca. 5 (1 in the flora): North America, temperate South America.
The name Alophia has been misapplied to this genus because of an erroneous interpretation of the identity of the type species of Alophia (P. Goldblatt 1975).