Iris palaestina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Iris palaestina
Iris palaestina 2.JPG
Scientific classification
Iris palaestina
Binomial name
Iris palaestina
  • Juno palaestina (Baker) Klatt
  • Thelysia palaestina (Baker) Mattei
  • Xiphion palaestinum Baker [1]

Iris palaestina (or sometimes Iris palestina) is a species in the genus Iris; it is also in the subgenus of Scorpiris. It is a bulbous perennial from Asia, within Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. It has long, narrow, strap-like leaves, and a short stem. The early blooming, fragrant flowers are greenish-grey/white or yellow-white.


Iris palestina has 1–1.5 in (25–38 mm) ovoid brown bulbs.[2][3]

Most specimens have up to six leaves,[4] which are 6 in (150 mm) tall at flowering time.[3] They are normally about 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide at the base of the plant.[5] The long, narrow, strap-like leaves have undulate edges[6] with a thin white margin.[2] They are normally shiny green in color,[7] but are glossy on the upper surface.[2]

It has a short stem which is about 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) high.[2]

It has fragrant flowers between January and February.[3] Generally, there are one to three flowers per stem. The flowers are greenish-grey/white,[8][9] but can be yellow-white as well. In southern Israel, some specimens have a slight blue tinge.[2]

The flowers have winged falls. It has a perianth tube around 8–18 cm (3.1–7.1 in) long.[7]

It has oblong capsules and seeds without arils.[2][5]

Iris palaestina near Jerusalem


It is also known as the Palestine Iris,[2] and it is known in Hebrew as איריס ארץ-ישראלי.[4]

Iris palestina was first found in Mesopotamia, part of Syria, and it was first published in Flora Orientalis by Pierre Edmond Boissier in July 1882.[10]

It was originally thought to be a variety of Iris vartanii.[3] It is similar in form to the better known and more decorative Iris planifolia.[8]

Iris palaestina is an accepted name by the Royal Horticultural Society.[11] It was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 4 April 2003, and then updated on 1 December 2004.[12]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is native to temperate Asia.[12]


It comes from Turkey, Jordan,[12] Syria,[10] Lebanon,[12] (including Batha[2]) and Israel. It was found in Golan, Galilee, Mediterranean coast, northern valleys, Carmel, Samarian mountains, Samarian desert, Judean mountains, Sharon and Shefela.[4]


It likes open stony soils (with sandstone material)[2] at low altitudes.[5] Normally it is found at coastal sites but is also common within olive groves.[8]


It is hardy to USDA Zone 4.[7]

The iris is not hardy and is generally a poor grower in the UK.[9] It is better grown in a pot under cover in a greenhouse or bulb frame. It should be potted in well-drained, fertile compost and have a summer rest from watering.[6]

It can be found and seen in Tel Aviv University Botanic Garden.[13]

Cultural uses[edit]

It has been used as a medicinal plant in the Middle East for urinary tract infections by boiling the leaves or the rhizomes in water, similar to the use of Iris pallida.[14]


  1. ^ "Juno palaestina". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Richard Lynch The Book of the Iris, p. 186-187, at Google Books
  4. ^ a b c "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b c British Iris Society (1997) A Guide to Species Irises: Their Identification and Cultivation , p. 255, at Google Books
  6. ^ a b "Iris palestina". Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b c James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey (Editors) The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification, p. 260, at Google Books
  8. ^ a b c "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  9. ^ a b Cassidy, G.E.; Linnegar, S. (1987). Growing Irises (Revised ed.). Bromley: Christopher Helm. pp. 145–146. ISBN 0-88192-089-4.
  10. ^ a b "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d "Iris palaestina". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Iris palaestina". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  14. ^ Ram J. Singh (Editor)Genetic Resources, Chromosome Engineering, and Crop Improvement: Medicinal, p. 172, at Google Books

Other sources[edit]

  • Danin, A. (2004). Distribution Atlas of Plants in the Flora Palaestina Area: 404-410. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  • Feinbrun-Dothan, N. (1986). Flora Palaestina 4: 112-137. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  • Innes, C. (1985). The World of Iridaceae: 1-407. Holly Gare International Ltd., Ashington.
  • Post, G.E. (1933). Fl. Syria, Palestine & Sinai 2: 583-604. American Press, Beirut.

External links[edit]

Media related to Iris palaestina at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Iris palaestina at Wikispecies