The Iris Family

This family consists of 80 genera with over 1,700 species of mostly herbaceous perennials with a few shrubs or evergreen perennials. They come from around the world with emphasis on types from Africa. Some members of this family produce a substance called orrisroot which is used in perfumes, soaps and powders. Many of the plants have rhizomes, bulbs or corms as their underground structures.

Blue Stars
Baboon Flower
Blackberry Lilies
African Iris
Snake's Head Iris
Reticulata Irises
Juno Irises
Bunny Tail Grass
Apostle Iris
Vesper Iris
Candy Lilies
Purple Flag
Sand Crocus
Blue-eyed Grass
Tiger Flower
Corn Flag
English and Dutch Irises

Note on Taxonomy - Plant taxonomy is the art and science of classifying plants into groupings in order to help people make sense of the huge diversity found in the world. The people who do this for a living are called taxonomists. They are continually evaluating and re-evaluating how plants are classified. For example, with the recent emergence of DNA analysis, many plants have been changing classification.

Also, there is no one, single universal classification system for plants. Rather, there is a lot of debate among taxonomists which may lead to confusion for the average gardener. That is why, in these family listings, you often see the words "about" or "around" when counting the number of genera or species to include. It is also why new families are created and some of the old ones suddenly fade away. So, don't be surprised if you find slightly different information at other sites or sources. Oh, well.


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