Himalayan Iris
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Himalayan Iris
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan Iris, Clarke's Iris
Botanical name: Iris clarkei    Family: Iridaceae (Iris family)
Synonyms: Iris himalaica, Limniris clarkei

This little Himalayan Iris has medium sized flowers ranging from deep blue to violet infused blue, with a contrasting yellow patch on the falls and deeply colored blue standards above slender leaves. Leaves are grayish green and dull on one surface, glossy on other, sword-shaped, 1-2 ft long, 0.8-1.8 cm broad. Flowering stems are 2- or 3-branched, 45-90 cm x about 5 mm, solid, 2- or 3-leaved; spathes 3, green, broadly lanceshaped, 7.5-9 cm, 1- or 2-flowered. Flowers are bluish violet, 7.5-8.5 cm in diameter, carried on slender stalk 2.5-3.5 cm. Flower tube is green, about 1 cm x 5 mm; outer segments mottled darker on central, whitish patch, obovate, about 7 x 2.4--2.8 cm; inner segments are obliquely spreading, pale violet, inverted-lanceshaped, 4-4.5 x about 1 cm. Anthers are milky white. Style branches 4-4.5 cm x about 5 mm. Capsule oblong-ellipsoid, 3.5-5 x 1.2-2.5 cm, 3-angled, 6-veined. Seeds are semicircular, flat. Himalayan Iris is found in Bhutan, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Xizang, W Yunnan, at altitudes of 2300-4300 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed at Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim.

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