Ixia trifolia, photographed by J. H. Vlok & A. L. Schutte-Vlok.

Belongs within: Liliidae.
Contains: Moraea, Romulea, Iris.

The Iridaceae are a family of seasonal plants, most diverse in southern Africa. Many species in the family are popular ornamentals. The rootstock of members of this family is often a corm, as in Crocus or Watsonia, or a rhizome as in Iris or Sisyrinchium.

Characters (from Healy & Edgar 1980): Perennial, rarely annual, glabrous, rarely pubescent herbs with rhizomes, corms and bulbs. Leaves often crowded at base of sten, mostly narrow-linear, flattened at sides, sheathing and equitant at base. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic to completely zygomorphic, in spikes, racemes or panicles, sometimes solitary, enclosed 1-several within two spathe-valves consisting of a bract and more membranous bracteole. Perianth petaloid, more or less marcescent; segments 6, connate basally into tube or occasionally free, more or less similar or three outer different in shape, size or colour from inner. Stamens 3, symmetrically placed in actinomorphic flowers, slightly irregularly placed, asymmetric, in zygomorphic flowers; filaments free or partly connate; anther bilocular, opening extrorsely or laterally by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior, usually trilocular with axile placentae; style three-lobed in upper part, branches entire to deeply lobed, sometimes winged and petaloid, stigmatose at the top or within. Capsules loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds few to many.

<==Iridaceae [Iridales, Iridineae]
    |--Isophysis LC95
    |--+--+--Geosiris LC95
    |  |  `--Aristea ecklonii Baker 1877 LC95, HE80
    |  `--+--Patersonia LC95
    |     |    |--P. juncea OS04
    |     |    |--P. occidentalis RL05
    |     |    `--P. umbrosa GK00
    |     `--+--Pillansiea LC95
    |        `--+--Ixia MG06 [Ixieae LC95]
    |           |    |  i. s.: I. maculata Linnaeus 1763 HE80
    |           |    |         I. paniculata HE80
    |           |    |         I. polystachya Linnaeus 1762 HE80
    |           |    `--I. sect. Dichone MG06
    |           |         |--I. amethystina Manning & Goldblatt 2006 MG06
    |           |         |--I. brevituba MG06
    |           |         |--I. curvata MG06
    |           |         `--I. trifolia MG06
    |           `--Watsonia HE80 [Watsonieae LC95]
    |                |--W. ardernei Sander 1899 HE80
    |                |--W. bulbillifera Mathews & Bolus 1922 HE80
    |                |--W. fulgens [incl. W. angusta] HE80
    |                |--W. marginata Ker-Gawler 1802 HE80
    |                |--W. meriana (Linnaeus) Miller 1768 HE80
    |                `--W. tabularis DE06
    `--+--+--Bobartia LC95
       |  `--+--Diplarrhenia LC95
       |     `--Sisyrinchium HE80 [Sisyrinchieae LC95]
       |          |--S. anceps HE80
       |          |--S. angustifolium DS04
       |          |--S. californicum HE80
       |          |--S. chilense D03
       |          |--S. iridifolium Kunth in H. B. & K. 1816 HE80
       |          |--S. micranthum DS04
       |          `--S. striatum Smith 1792 HE80
       `--+--Iris LC95
          `--+--Mariceae LC95
             `--Trigidieae LC95

Iridaceae incertae sedis:
  Schizostylis coccinea Backhouse & Harvey 1864 HE80
  Freesia refracta (von Jacquin) Klatt 1866 HE80
  Dietes bicolor HE80
  Neomarica DS04
    |--N. gracilis MM96
    `--N. northiana DS04
  Dierama HE80
    |--D. pendulum (Linnaeus) Baker 1877 HE80
    `--D. pulcherrimum HE80
  Gynandriris HE80
    |--G. setifolia HE80
    `--G. sisyrinchium PT98
  Sparaxis HE80
    |--S. bulbifera (Linnaeus) Ker-Gawler in Koenig & Sims 1804 HE80
    `--S. tricolor (Schneevogt) Ker-Gawler in Koening & Sims 1804 HE80
  Tritonia HE80
    |--T. crocata (Linnaeus) Ker-Gawler 1802 HE80
    `--T. lineata (Salisbury) Ker-Gawler in Koenig & Sims 1804 HE80
  Orthrosanthus laxus OS04
    |--O. l. var. laxus OS04
    `--O. l. var. gramineus OS04
  Ferraria CV06
    |--F. macrochlamys N06
    `--F. schaeferi CV06
  Babiana HE80
    |--B. longicollis CV06
    |--B. spiralis N06
    `--B. stricta Ker-Gawler 1803 HE80
  Homeria HE80
    |--H. breyniana (n. d.) HE80
    |--H. collina (Thunberg) Ventenat 1808 HE80
    `--H. flaccida GK00
  Chasmanthe HE80
    |--C. aethiopica (see below for synonymy) HE80
    |--C. bicolor (Gasparrini) Brown 1932 HE80
    `--C. floribunda (Salisbury) Brown 1932 HE80
  Lapeirousia GE05
    |--L. anceps GE05
    |--L. avasmontana CV06
    |--L. gracilis CV06
    `--L. laxa HE80
  Crocosmia HE80
    |--C. aurea HE80
    |--C. × crocosmiiflora (Nicholson) Brown 1932 [C. aurea × C. pottsii] HE80
    |--C. paniculata (Klatt) Goldblatt 1971 HE80
    `--C. pottsii HE80
  Gladiolus HE80
    |--G. byzantinus HE80
    |--G. × cardinalis HE80
    |--G. caryophyllaceus RL05
    |--G. natalensis (Ecklon) Hooker 1831 [incl. G. psittacinus] HE80
    `--G. undulatus Linnaeus 1767 [incl. G. cuspidatus] HE80
  Libertia HE80
    |--L. elegans D03
    |--L. grandifolia A27
    |--L. ixioides CA27
    |--L. micrantha C45
    |--L. peregrinans Cockayne & Allan 1927 CA27
    `--L. pulchella A27
  Crocus HE80
    |--C. cancellatus PT98
    |    |--C. c. ssp. cancellatus PT98
    |    `--C. c. ssp. mazziariacus PT98
    |--C. cyprius D30
    |--C. flavus HE80
    |--C. sativus C55
    `--C. vernus C55
  Moraea MG06
  Romulea MG06

Chasmanthe aethiopica [=Antholyza aethiopica, Petamenes aethiopica (Linnaeus) Allan 1940, Pentamenes (l. c.) aethiopica] HE80

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A27] Andersen, J. C. 1927. Popular names of New Zealand plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 905-977.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[CA27] Cockayne, L., & H. H. Allan. 1927b. Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, &c. (No. 5). Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 48-72.

[C45] Colenso, W. 1845. Memoranda of an excursion, made in the Northern Island of New Zealand, in the summer of 1841-2; intended as a contribution towards the natural productions of the New Zealand groupe: with particular reference to their botany (concluded). Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science 2: 241-308.

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175-189.

[DS04] Davis, J. I., D. W. Stevenson, G. Petersen, O. Seberg, L. M. Campbell, J. V. Freudenstein, D. H. Goldman, C. R. Hardy, F. A. Michelangeli, M. P. Simmons, C. D. Specht, F. Vergara-Silva & M. Gandolfo. 2004. A phylogeny of the monocots, as inferred from rbcL and atpA sequence variation, and a comparison of methods for calculating jackknife and bootstrap values. Systematic Botany 29 (3): 467-510.

[D30] Druce, G. C. 1930. Account of a botanical tour in Cyprus. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 50-52.

[DE06] Duncan, G. D., & T. J. Edwards. 2006. Three new species of Lachenalia (Hyacinthaceae: Massonieae) from Western and Northern Cape, South Africa. Bothalia 36 (2): 147-155.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899, vol. 8 – Botany (W. B. Scott, ed.) pp. 1-34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323-402.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[HE80] Healy, A. J., & E. Edgar. 1980. Flora of New Zealand vol. III. Adventive cyperaceous, petalous and spathaceous monocotyledons. P. D. Hasselberg, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[LC95] Linder, H. P. & M. D. Crisp. 1995. Nothofagus and Pacific biogeography. Cladistics 11: 5-32.

[MG06] Manning, J. C., & P. Goldblatt. 2006. New species of Iridaceae from the Hantam-Roggeveld Centre of Endemism, and the Bokkeveld, Northern Cape, South Africa. Bothalia 36 (2): 139-145.

[MM96] Mound, L. A., & R. Marullo. 1996. The thrips of Central and South America: an introduction (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-487.

[N06] Nelson, E. C. 2006. 'Forsyth (Fl. 1835)': a phantom botanical collector at the Cape of Good Hope explained. Bothalia 36 (2): 167-168.

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19-28.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: Flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95-116.

[RL05] Rafferty, C., & B. B. Lamont. 2005. Selective feeding by macropods on vegetation regenerating following fire. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 88 (4): 155-165.

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