|Iris pallida ssp. pseudopallida|
Iris cengialtii Ambros.
Iris pallida (Dalmatian iris or Sweet iris) is a hardy flowering perennial plant of the genus Iris, family Iridaceae. It is native to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) but widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a member of the subgenus iris, meaning that it is a bearded iris, and grows from a rhizome.
This iris prefers rocky places in the mediterranean and submediterranean zone and reaches sometimes montane regions at its southern range in Montenegro. It grows to a stem height of 50 to 80 centimeters. The leaves are bluish-green in color, and sword-shaped, 40 to 50 centimeters in length, and 2.5 to 3 centimeters in width. The inflorescence, produced in May/June, is fan-shaped and contains two or three flowers which are usually pale purplish to whitish.
It is cultivated as a garden plant, and commercially for extraction of essential oils from its rhizome (orris root). It has also been used as a medicinal plant in the Middle East to cure Urinary tract infections, by boiling the leaves or the rhizomes in water.
Three subspecies of Iris pallida s.l. are recognised by some authors as species: Iris pallida ssp. cengialti (with deep purplish flowers) from Slovenia and adjacent Italy, Iris pallida ssp.illyrica from the North Dalmatian coast, and Iris pallida ssp. pseudopallida from the South Dalmatian coast. The newly described Orjen Iris (I. orjenii) has white flowers.
- Ram J. Singh (Editor)Genetic Resources, Chromosome Engineering, and Crop Improvement: Medicinal, p. 172, at Google Books
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