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Iris unguicularis

Botanical Name: Iris unguicularis (added by D. Kramb, 08-NOV-03)

Botanical Synonyms:

Formerly known as Iris stylosa (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)


Unguiculares (D. Kramb, 10-OCT-04)

Common Names:

Sometimes called Algerian Iris (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Chromosome Count:

2n=38, 40, 48, 50 (D. Kramb, 10-OCT-04)

General Description:

Iris unguicularis is a beardless iris that blooms from late fall through late winter. The flowers have no stem below the ovary and are easily distinguished from other iris except its close relative, Iris lazica. The style arms come together to form a tube which is not present on other iris. The surface of the styles are covered with small yellow glands that are unique to these 2 species. I. unguicularis is distinguised from I. lazica by its thick, stiff, ribbed leaves. (Ken Walker, 23-NOV-03 )

Flowers at a height of 4" to 8" tall, while the leaves grow 18" to 38" tall. Flowers are lavender, rarely pink or white, and they have a yellowish signal. (D. Kramb, 10-OCT-04)

Flowers Feb-March in north of UK (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Distinguishing Features:

Pale blue-lilac beardless flowers - in vast numbers in a good year (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Preferred Habitat:

Dry, poor soil in sunny position, eg: against a south-facing wall (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)


Hardy to zone 8 or even 9 in above situations (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Native Range:

Mediterrenean countries and islands. (D. Kramb, 10-OCT-04)

Eastern Mediterranean (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Status in the Wild:

Probably common (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Commercial Availability:

Not hard to obtain (Anonymous, 08-APR-09)

Sources Cited:

Info entered on 10-OCT-04 comes from the SIGNA Checklist of Iris Species. (D. Kramb, 10-OCT-04)

Additional Comments:


Where to buy it:

Arrowhead Alpines

Durio Nursery

Impressive Irises

Joy Creek Nursery

Plant Delights Nursery

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