Iridaceae2017-08-17T16:21:52+00:00

Iridaceae: Iris Family

African Cornflag – Chasmanthe floribunda

Blooms:

Feb–May

Plant Height:

< 1 m

Flower Size:

Large cluster

Origin:

South Africa

Habitat:

Garden escape

Notes:

Escaping from cultivation, this has become naturalized at Point Lobos and nearby.  A dramatic plant with a dense clump of long basal leaves and  a 1–2 branched stem bearing large clusters of orange-red flowers in two ranks (i.e. borne alternately on opposite sides of the stem) like a many-branched candelabra.

Douglas Iris – Iris douglasiana

Blooms:

Mar–July

Plant Height:

15–50 cm

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Woodland

Notes:

This beautiful iris is common in coastal areas.  The flower comprises 3 long petal-like sepals which are broad and down-curving and 3 narrower, shorter and more erect petals. Above each sepal is a style branch, another petal-like structure with an upturned tip.  Leaf blades are long and curving, attached edge-wise to the stem. The flower varies in color from lavender through to rich blue-purple, generally with white veins and a yellowish patch towards the base of the sepal.

Yellow Flag Iris – Iris pseudacorus

Blooms:

Apr–June

Plant Height:

5–15 dm

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Eurasia

Invasive?

Yes – limited

Habitat:

Woodland

Notes:

A typical iris in its appearance but unmistakable with its bright yellow flowers. Found on pond margins.

Blue-eyed Grass – Sisyrinchium bellum

Blooms:

Mar–May

Plant Height:

< 64 cm

Flower Size:

Small-medium

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Open grassland

Notes:

Despite its common name, this flower is more purple than blue (occasionally white) and has a vivid yellow throat. Lanceolate leaves clasp each other in true iris fashion. Purists ridicule the common name as being incorrect on all counts, preferring something like “yellow-eyed purple iris”.

Golden- / Yellow-eyed Grass – Sisyrinchium californicum

Blooms:

Mar–May

Plant Height:

< 62 cm

Flower Size:

Small-medium

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Moist places near coast

Notes:

Similar in size and shape to the more common Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum). The flower is bright yellow with slightly darker longitudinal stripes. It has grass-like leaves and jointed stems.

Rosy Sand Crocus – Romulea rosea var. australis

Blooms:

Mar–Apr

Plant Height:

< 10 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

South Africa

Habitat:

Garden escape

Notes:

A garden escape, originally in the Carmel Highlands but now occasional across the Monterey Peninsula. Flowers are 15–20 mm across with pink or lilac lobes and a yellow throat.Leaves are cylindric or elliptic in cross-section.