Description: Perennials mostly evergreen and rhizomatous.
Leaves mostly basal, equitant, usually erect and sword-shaped. Scape erect, simple or few-branched, rarely absent; inflorescence cymose; spathe bracts herbaceous; spathes 1–several-flowered.
Flowers actinomorphic. Perianth tube cylindrical to funnel-shaped; lobes with basal claw; outer lobes ('falls') spreading or deflexed; inner lobes ('standards') erect, often smaller. Stamens included, free. Style deeply 3-fid; branches flattened, petaloid, arched over a stamen and appressed to outer tepal; stigmas exceeded by prominent 2-fid crests.
Capsule ovoid-oblong, trigonous; seeds numerous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250 species, chiefly northern temperate regions. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., S.A., W.A.
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
|One species in NSW: Iris germanica|