Iris illyrica

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Iris illyrica
Iris illyrica Croatia.jpg
Illyrian Iris (Iris illyrica)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Species: I. illyrica
Binomial name
Iris illyrica

Iris pallida subsp. illyrica

Iris illyrica, with the common name Illyrian Iris, is a perennial plant from the iris family (Iridaceae), native to Southeastern Europe.


Its native range consists of much of the ancient region Illyria, for which it is named, located on the Balkan Peninsula.

It can be found growing wild in modern Dalmatia (Croatia), Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and parts of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia.


Iris illyrica grows up to 40 cm in height.

Its flowering period is May and June.

Its best planting position is in full sun. The soil requirements are dry or average moist, fertile well drained soil. It is suitable in border and rock gardens. This plant produces seeds rarely. It produces usually ten seeds that ripen out in autumn.


According to the IOPI (International Organization for Plant Information) the status of this plant is still unresolved; it is often treated as a subspecies of the Dalmatian Iris (Iris pallida).[1] It has been reclassified by some as a synonym of Iris pallida subsp. illyrica[2]

Medicinal plant[edit]

The Illyrians (and later the Romans) considered Iris illyrica a medicinal plant with various medicinal properties. These included the healing of boils and relief of headaches. The plant was also believed able to induce abortion. Parts were used in the ancient world as an anti-perspirant and for the manufacture of perfumes.[3]


  1. ^ Irises: a gardener's encyclopedia by Claire Austin, page 133
  2. ^ "Iris pallida subsp. illyrica (Tomm. ex Vis.) K.Richt". 23 February 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014. .
  3. ^ Wilkes, J. The Illyrians. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1992. 221.

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