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Pakistan | Family List | Pakistan V. 202 | Iridaceae | Iris

14. Iris lactea Pallas, Reise. 3: 713. 1776; B. Mathew, l.c. 125. 1981; A.B. White in SGBIS, l.c. 202. 1997. (Fig. 4).

S. I. Ali & Brian Mathew

Iris lactea

Credit: B. Mathew

Iris oxypetala Bunge, Enum. Pl. Chin. Bor. 63. 1832; Wendelbo & B. Mathew in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 112: 22. 1975.

Roots not swollen. Rhizome branched, covered with purplish brown remains of older leaves. Leaves up to 45.0 cm long, 3.0-5.0 mm wide, straight, ribbed. Peduncle 5-50 cm, 1-3 flowered. Bracts several, outer 5-7.5 cm, enclosing the inner membranous ones. Pedicel 2.0-9.0 cm. Flowers 4.0-6.0 cm in diameter, creamy white, pale mauve or bluish purple or pale violet blue. Tube 2.0-3.0 mm. Falls 4.5-5.5 cm with claw, slightly longer than obovate blade; standards erect, oblanceolate. Filaments and anthers 1.2 cm long, style c. 3 cm long, lobes c. 7 mm long, stigma small, triangular. Capsule 2.5-7.0 cm long (including the beak), with 6 ribs at regular intervals; breadth and beak length variable. Seeds c. 5 mm in diameter, round smooth, dark brown.

Fl. Per.: May-August. Vern.: Irisa, Sosun, Marjal, Unarjal (Kirtikar & Basu, l.c. 2460).

Type: Described from arid desert near lake Tarei Dauuriae.

Distribution: From Kazakhstan through Soviet Central Asia to Ussuri Region, Korea, Central, North and Western China, Mongolia, Tibet, Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Roots are reputed to have medicinal properties. Leaves are used as fodder and for thatching, matting and basket work. Flowers contain anthocyanin pigment (Kirtikar & Basu, Ind. Med. Pl. 4: 2460 1991; Ambasta et al., Usef. Pl. Ind. 294. 1986).


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