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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Iridaceae | Iris

Iris songarica Schrenk


Description from Flora of China

Plants densely tufted. Rhizomes knobbly. Leaves grayish green, linear, 15--23 cm × 2--3 mm at anthesis, 70--80 cm × 7--10 mm in fruit, base surrounded by maroon-brown, persistent sheaths. Flowering stems 25--50 cm, glabrous, 3- or 4-leaved; spathes 3, green, 7--14 × 1.8--2 cm, 2-flowered, apex shortly acuminate. Flowers violet, funnelform, 8--9 cm in diam.; pedicel ca. 4.5 cm. Perianth tube 5--7 mm; outer segments ascending, fiddle-shaped, 5--5.5 × ca. 1 cm, limb ovate or elliptic; inner segments erect, oblanceolate, ca. 3.5 cm × 5 mm. Stamens ca. 2.5 cm; anthers brown. Ovary ca. 2.5 cm. Style branches ca. 3.5 × 1 cm. Capsule ovoid to cylindric, 4--6.5 × 1.5--2 cm, leathery, 3-angled, reticulate veined, apex long beaked. Seeds maroon-brown, pyriform. Fl. Jun--Jul, fr. Aug--Sep.

One of us (Noltie) suspects that Chinese records of Iris songarica except those from Xinjiang, in fact refer to I. farreri, as does some of the description above. Zhao differentiates the two species mainly on flower color, which is no doubt variable. Noltie considers the shape of the flower to be much more important, being flattish in I. farreri but funnelform in the C Asian I. songarica.

Sunny grasslands, stony hillsides. ?Gansu, ?Ningxia, ?Qinghai, ?Shaanxi, ?Sichuan, Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia (Iran)].


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