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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Iridaceae | Iris

Iris ruthenica Ker-Gawl.


Description from Flora of China

Iris ruthenica var. brevituba Maximowicz; I. ruthenica var. nana Maximowicz.

Rhizomes creeping, branched, 3--5 mm in diam. Roots fibrous. Leaves green or grayish green, linear, 7--25 cm × 1--3 mm, parallel veins 3--5, base surrounded by maroon-brown fibers, apex long acuminate. Flowering stems 2--20 cm, slender, 2- or 3-leaved; spathes 2, green, reddish purple at margin, lanceolate or broadly so, 2--3.5 cm × 8--10 mm, 1-flowered. Flowers violet, 3--5.5 cm in diam.; pedicel 6--10 mm. Perianth tube 0.5--1.5 cm; outer segments with white- and deep purple-mottled patterns, oblanceolate, ca. 4 cm × 8--10 mm; inner segments erect, narrowly oblanceolate, 3.2--3.5 cm × ca. 6 mm. Stamens ca. 2.5 cm; anthers milky white. Ovary ca. 1 cm. Style branches 3.5--4 cm. Capsule globose to ovoid, 1.2--1.5 cm, 6-veined, apex not beaked. Seeds globose or pyriform, with milky white aril. Fl. May--Jun, fr. Jul--Aug. 2 n = 84.

Iris ruthenica is very variable and grades into I. uniflora. Iris ruthenica var. nana is said to have flowering stems only 5--5.5 cm, but, according to one of us (Noltie), the type of I. ruthenica is a similarly small plant, so var. nana cannot be maintained as distinct. Iris ruthenica var. brevituba, with a short perianth tube, is similarly not worth maintaining. White-flowered forms have been recognized as I. ruthenica f. leucantha Y. T. Zhao (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 18: 56. 1980).

Pinus forests, grasslands, hillsides, sunny sandy places; 1800--3600 m. Anhui, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia; E Europe].


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