Species Iris Group of North America

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Iris staintonii

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Botanical Name: Iris staintonii (added by D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Botanical Synonyms:



Nepalensis group (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Common Names:


Chromosome Count:


General Description:

Bloom resembles a reticulata iris, extremely short, and with leaves appearing after bloom. Flowers are violet-purple with white spots. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

The flower sits at soil level on a short tube 1cm long. Flowers are approx 2cm across. The overall color is a rich violet-purple, with the falls heavily blotched with white. There is no beard, but barely a hint of a raised central ridge on the falls (in yellow). Foliage is poorly developed at flowering time although 2-3 sheathing leaves (prophylls) appear alongside the flower. Flower-bracts and sheathing leaves are pale green, slightly scarious, with a distinct dark purplish line along the keel, and sometimes another parallel line each side of this. After flowering one or two true leaves appear on a short stem up to 5cm long. These are narrow, erect or curving, and markedly pleated, up to 1cm wide and 30cm long by mid-summer. The rootstock consists of a tiny conical growing point with a tuft of the previous year's persistent leaf bases, and 1-3 small pale cylindrical tubers, up to 12mm long, as well as a few thin fibrous roots. The seeds from immature pods were observed to have a small aril. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Distinguishing Features:

Individual flowers are very short lived. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Preferred Habitat:

Found in the mountains, presumably with excellent drainage. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)


Summer heat is a bigger threat than winter cold. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Native Range:

Central Nepal Himalaya (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Status in the Wild:

Probably common, though the known range is highly restricted. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Commercial Availability:


Sources Cited:

Article by William Baker & Tony Hall in the SIGNA #63 issue, pages 3269-72. (D. Kramb, 06-SEP-04)

Additional Comments:


Where to buy it:

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