Dietes iridioides

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Dietes iridioides
Dietes iridioides 001.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Dietes
Species: D. iridioides
Binomial name
Dietes iridioides
(L.) Sweet

Dietes vegeta N.E.Br.
Moraea iridioides L.
Moraea vegeta Mill.

Fortnight lily or Morea iris -- Dietes iridioides, D. bicolor

Dietes iridioides (African iris, Cape iris, fortnight lily, Morea iris, wild iris, dietes) is an ornamental plant in the Iridaceae family.

D. iridioides has white flowers marked with yellow and violet, with six free tepals that are not joined into a tube at their bases. These flowers last only one day. The seedpods of the plant often bend the stalks down to the ground where they have a better chance of propagating a new generation of plants.

The very similar Dietes grandiflora (Large Wild Iris) is a larger plant, which can be distinguished by larger flowers which have dark spots at the base of the outer tepals, and last for three days.

Dietes iridoides is widely distributed in Africa, from Ethiopia to South Africa.[1]

These plants were formerly placed in the genus Moraea, but were reclassified because they are rhizomatous. Some references mention the species Dietes vegeta or D. vegeta variegata, springing from some confusion with Moraea vegata (which grows from a corm, not a rhizome). The name D. vegeta is commonly misapplied to both D. iridioides and D. grandiflora.


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