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Patersonia sericea.jpg
Patersonia sericea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Patersonioideae
Genus: Patersonia
Type species
Patersonia sericea

see text

Patersonia (purple flag) is a genus of flowering plants in the Iridaceae with about 20 species in Australia and several in the Malesian region. The genus name is a tribute to the first Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales in Australia, William Paterson.[1]

They are perennials with basal leaves growing from a woody rhizome that in some species extends above ground to form a short trunk. The leaves are tough and fibrous, often with adaptations for conserving moisture, such as stomata sunk in grooves, a thickened cross-section, marginal hairs, and thickened margins.

The flowers appear from between a pair of bracts on a leafless stem. They have three large outer tepals that are usually blue to violet, and three tiny inner tepals. There are three stamens fused at the base to form a tube around the longer style, which bears a flattened stigma.

Several Patersonia species are grown as garden plants. They can be propagated by seed or by division.

There are about 19 species, including:


  1. ^ Manning, J. and P. Goldblatt (2008). The Iris Family: Natural History & Classification. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-88192-897-6. 


  • Cooke, D. A. (1986). Patersonia. Flora of Australia 46: 13-26. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.