Common name: Swamp Iris
Patersonia fragilis (Labill.) Asch. & Graebn. APNI*
Description: Tufted glabrous herb to c. 50 cm high.
Leaves basal, linear, 20–80 cm long, 1–5 mm wide, biconvex to terete, grooved, glabrous, slightly glaucous to pruinose, apex often pungent.
Scapes 4–25 cm long, striate; spathe bracts lanceolate, 2.5–5 cm long, green to brown, with a dark brown scarious margin. Perianth tube 2.5–3.5 cm long; outer tepals obovate to rhombic, 12–23 mm long, 10–15 mm wide, pale violet to blue-violet, midveins thickened; inner lobes oblanceolate, 1–2 mm long. Filaments exserted 2–3 mm, almost completely fused. Ovary glabrous.
Capsule cylindrical, apiculate, 25–30 mm long; seeds compressed-ovoid, 2–2.5 mm long, black, glossy with a white aril.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in wet heath; south from New England N.P.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
Some coastal plants (NC, CC, SC & Vic) are less robust, they have thin leaves and shorter outer perianth lobes and inflorescence spathes and may represent a distinct taxon.
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.