Iris sichuanensis Y.T.Zhao 
Iris leptophylla is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Iris and in the Pseudoregelia section. It is a rhizomatous perennial, from China. It has thin, long grey-green leaves, long slender stem and 2 fragrant purple, blue-purple, violet or lavender pink flowers. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions.
It has a thick rhizome, which is swollen and tuber-like. It is between 1.2 – 1.5 cm in diameter, and brown or grey-brown in colour. Under the rhizome are fibrous secondary roots, which are yellow-white. On top of the rhizome, are the brown fibrous remains of last seasons leaves. They emit an odour. The rhizomes grow slowly.
It has thin, linear leaves, that are greyish green, with a distinct rib (or midvein) and acuminate (pointed) end. They can grow up to between 15–35 cm (6–14 in) long, and between 0.2 and 1 cm wide. They appear in April.
The stem has 3 or 4 green, lanceolate spathes (leaves of the flower bud). They are between 3.5–8 cm (1–3 in) long and between 1 and 1.8 cm wide. They also have a distinct rib (or midvein) and (scarious) membranous edges.
The fragrant flowers, (with a primrose-like fragrance,) are 3.4–6 cm (1–2 in) in diameter, they come in shades of purple, including blue-purple, violet, lavender pink.
It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the 'falls' and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals), known as the 'standards'. The falls are obovate or spatulate (spoon-like) shaped, 5–5.5 cm (2–2 in) long and 2 cm wide. In the centre of the petal is a yellow, or white beard. They also have a dissected yellow crest. The erect standards are lanceolate,3.5–4 cm (1–2 in) long and between 0.5–1 cm wide.
After the iris has flowered, between May to June, or May to July. it produces an ovoid, or cylindric seed capsule. Which is 4 cm long and 1.3 cm wide, with an acute point, and 6 prominent veins. It dehisces (splits open) laterally, to reveal pear shaped, dark brown seeds, with a brown aril (appendage).
In 2003, a study was carried out the rhizomes of Iris leptophylla, using chromatography and recrystallization. It found eight compounds (including 5 flavonoids), 'tectorigenin irisflorentin' (I), 'tectorigenin irilone' (Ⅱ), wild Tectoridin iridin (Ⅲ), Tectoridin tectoridin (Ⅳ), Tectoridin irilone-4'-glucoside (Ⅴ), the last three compounds were daucosterol (Ⅵ), β- sitosterol (Ⅶ), octadecyl acid (Ⅷ).
In February 2007, a spectroscopic chemical compound study was carried out on the rhizomes of Iris leptophylla, it found several isoflavonoid glucosides, including irisleptophyllidin, (C24H24O12 ,) nigricanin, irifloside and irigenin.
It was then first published and described by Alexander von Lingelsheim in 'Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis', Beihefte. (Edited by Friedrich Fedde) (Fedd. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih.) Vol.12 on page 325 in 1922.
It was originally placed within the Nepalensis subgenus by Brian Mathew, but later it was suggested it should be placed in the 'Pseudoregelia Section' by Dr David Cutler of Kew in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society Vol.90 pages253-303 in 1985.
Distribution and habitat
Iris leptophylla is an endangered plant.
In milder positions,(including some parts of Europe) it can be grown in a rock garden.
Like many other irises, most parts of the plant are poisonous (rhizome and leaves), if mistakenly ingested can cause stomach pains and vomiting. Also, handling the plant may cause a skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
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- Qin, Min-Jian; Li, Rong; Wang, Xin; Ye, Wen-Cai (February 2007). "New Isoflavonoid Glycosides from the Rhizomes of Iris leptophylla Lingelsh". Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 49 (2): 213–217. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00378.x.
- Yu, Xiao-Fang; Zhang, Hai-Qing; Yuan, Ming; Zhou, Yong-Hong (2009). "Karyotype studies on ten Iris species (Iridaceae) from Sichuan, China" (PDF). Caryologia. 62 (3): 253–260. doi:10.1080/00087114.2004.10589690. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
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- has black and white illustration of the iris from a journal
- Data related to Iris leptophylla at Wikispecies