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Iris

Iris

Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower. The often-segregated, monotypic genera Belamcanda (blackberry lily), Hermodactylus (snake's head iris), and Pardanthopsis (vesper iris) are currently included in Iris. Contents The genus is widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone. Their habitats are varied, ranging from cold and montane regions to the grassy slopes, meadowlands and riverbanks of the northern hemisphere. Description Irises are perennial plants, growing from creeping rhizomes or in drier climates, from bulbs. They have long, erect flowering stems which may be simple or branched, solid or hollow, and flattened or have a circular cross-section. The rhizomatous species usually have 3–10 basal sword-shaped leaves growing in dense clumps. The bulbous species have cylindrical, basal leaves.
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