IRIS , inbotany . The iris flower belongs to the natural
See also:Iridaceae of the class Monocotyledons, which is characterized by a petaloid six-parted perianth, an inferior ovary and only three stamens (the
See also:outer series), being thus distinguished from the Amaryllidaceae
See also:family, which has six stamens . They are handsome showy-flowered
See also:plants, the Greek name having been applied on account of the hues of the
See also:flowers . The genus contains about 170
See also:species widely distributed throughout the
See also:north temperate zone . Two of the species are
See also:British . I . Pseudacorus, the yellow
See also:flag or iris, is
See also:common in Britain on
See also:banks, and in marshes and ditches . It is called the "
See also:water-flag " or "
See also:bastard floure de-luce " by
See also:Gerard, who remarks that " although it be a water plant of nature, yet being planted in gardens it prospereth well." Its flowers appear in
See also:June and
See also:July, and are of a
See also:colour . The leaves are from 2 to 4 ft. long, and
See also:half an inch to an inch broad . Towards the latter
See also:part of the
See also:year they are eaten by
See also:cattle . The seeds are numerous and
See also:brown; they have been recommended when roasted as a substitute for
See also:coffee, of which, however, they have not the properties . The astringent rhizome has diuretic, purgative and emetic properties, and may, it is said, be used for dyeing black, and in the place of
See also:galls for
See also:ink-making .
The other British species, I. foetidissima, the fetid iris, gladdon or roast-
See also:beef plant, the Xyris or stinking gladdon of Gerard, is a native of England south of Durham. and also of
See also:Europe and North Africa . Its flowers are usually of a dull, leaden-blue colour; the capsules, which remain attached to the plant throughout the winter, are 2 to 3 in. long; and the seeds
See also:scarlet . When bruised this species emits a
See also:peculiar and disagreeable odour . Iris florentina, with
See also:white or pale-blue flowers, is a native of the south of Europe, and is the source of the
See also:violet-scented orris
See also:root used in perfumery . Iris versicolor, or blue flag, is indigenous to North
See also:America, and yields " iridin," a powerful hepatic stimulant . Iris germanica of central Europe, " the most common
See also:purple Fleur de Luce" of Ray, is the large common blue iris of gardens, the bearded iris or fleur de luce and probably the Illyrian iris of the ancients . From the flowers of Iris florentina a pigment—the " verdelis," " vert d'iris," or iris-greefi,.,. formerly used by
See also:miniature painters—was prepared by maceration, the fluid being
See also:left to putrefy, when
See also:chalk or
See also:alum was added . The
See also:garden plants known as the
See also:Spanish iris and the
See also:English iris are both of Spanish origin, and have very showy flowers . Along with some other species, as I. reticulata and I. persica, both of which are fragrant, they
See also:great favourites with florists . All these just mentioned differ from those formerly named in the nature of the underground
See also:stem, which forms a bulb and not a strict creeping rhizome as in I . Pseudacorus, germanica, florentina, &c . Some botanists
See also:separate these bulbous irises from the genus leis, and place them apart in the genus Xiphium, the Spanish iris, including about 30 species, all from the Mediterranean region and the East .
The iris flower is of
See also:interest as an example of the relation between the shape of the flower and the position of the pollen-receiving and stigmatic surfaces on the one
See also:hand and the visits of
See also:insects on the other . The large outer petals form a landing-stage for a flying
See also:insect which in FIG. g.—Diagram probing the perianth- of Trimerous Symtube for
See also:honey will metrsicalwita two rorolf first come in contact Ifi, of perianth, three e with the stigmatic stamens in one whorl
See also:surface which is
See also:borne and an ovary formed on the outer
See also:face of of three carpels . The a shelf-like transverse th dots indicate the se e positiono of an
See also:projection on the inner whorl of FIG . I.—Gynoecium under side of the stamens which is of Iris,consisting of an petaloid
See also:present in the allied inferior ovary o, and a The anther, which families Amacea.- style, with three peta- daceae and
See also:Liliaceae told segments s,bearing opens towards the but absent in Irid- stigrgas st. outside, is sheltered aceae . beneath the over-arching style arm below the stigma, so that the insect comes in contact with its pollen-covered surface only after passing the stigma, while in backing out of the flower it will come in contact only with the non-receptive
See also:lower face of the stigma . Thus an insect bearing pollen from one flower will in entering a second deposit the pollen on the stigma, while in backing out of a flower the pollen which it bears will not be rubbed off on the stigma of the same flower . The hardier bulbous irises, including the Spanish iris (I . Xiphium) and the English iris (I. xi phioides, so called, which is also of Spanish origin), require to be planted in thoroughly drained beds in very
See also:light open
See also:soil, moderately enriched, and should have a rather sheltered position . Both these present a long series of beautiful varieties of the most diverse
See also:colours, flowering in May, June and July, the smaller Spanish iris being the earlier of the two . There are many other smaller species of bulbous iris . Being liable to perish from excess of moisture, they should have a well-drained
See also:bed of
See also:good but porous soil made up for them, in some sunny spot, and in winter should be protected by a 6-in. covering of half-decayed leaves or fresh coco-fibre refuse . To this set belong I. persica, reticulata, fclifolia, Hislrio, juncea, Danfordiae Rosenbachiatea and others which flower as early as
See also:February and
See also:March .
The flag irises are for the most part of the easiest culture; they grow in any good
See also:free garden soil, the smaller and more delicate species only needing the aid of turfy ingredients, either peaty or loamy, to keep it light and open in texture . The earliest to
See also:bloom are the dwarfp forms of Iris pumila, which blossom during March,
See also:April and May; and during the latter
See also:month and the following one most of the larger growing species, such as I. germanica, florentina, pallida, variegata, amoena, flavescens, sambucina, neglecta, ruthenica, &c., produce their gorgeous flowers . Of many of the foregoing there are, besides the typical form, a considerable number of named garden varieties . Iris unguicularis (or stylosa) is a remarkable winter flowering species from Algeria, with
See also:sky-blue flowers blotched with yellow, produced at irregular intervals from
See also:November to March, the bleakest
See also:period of the year . The beautiful
See also:Japanese Iris Kaempferi (or I. laevigata) is of comparatively
See also:modern introduction, and though of a distinct type is equally beautiful with the better-known species . The outer segments are rather spreading than deflexed, forming an almost circular flower, which becomes quite so in some of the very remarkable duplex varieties, in which six of these broad segments are produced instead of three . Of this too there are numberless varieties cultivated under names . They require a sandy
See also:peat soil on a cool moist subsoil . What are known as Oncocyclus, or
See also:cushion irises, constitute a magnificent
See also:group of plants remarkable for their large, showy and beautifully marked flowers . Compared with other irises the " cushion " varieties are scantily furnished with narrow sickle-shaped leaves and the blossoms are usually borne singly on the stalks . The best-known kinds are atrofusca, Barnumae, Bismarckiana, Gatesi, Heylandiana, iberica, Lorteti, Haynei,
See also:lupine, Marine, meda, paradoxa,
See also:sari, sofarana and susiana—the last-named being popularly called the "
See also:mourning " iris owing to the dark silveryappearance of its huge flowers . All these cushion irises are somewhat fastidious growers, and to be successful with them they must be planted rather shallow in very gritty well-drained soil .
They should not be disturbed in the autumn, and after the leaves have withered the roots should be protected from heavy rains until growth starts again naturally . A closely allied group to the cushion irises are those known as Regelia, of which Korolkowi, Leichtlini and vaga are the best known . Some magnificent hybrids have been raised between these twogroups, and a hardier and more easily grown
See also:race of garden irises has been produced under the name of Regelio-Cyclus . They are best planted in
See also:September or
See also:October in warm sunny positions, the rhizomes being lifted the following July after the leaves have withered .
IRISH MOSS, or CARRAGEEN (Irish carraigeen, " moss ...
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