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Crocus aleppicus 1.JPG
Crocus aleppicus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Crocoideae
  • Ixioideae

Crocoideae is one of the major subfamilies in the Iridaceae family.

It contains plants which are wildly distributed in the Old world, mainly in Africa, but there are species like some members of the genera Romulea and Gladiolus which are native to Europe and Asia. Some examples are Romulea bulbocodium, Romulea columnae and Gladiolus italicus.

Like the whole Iridaceae family, the members of the subfamily have the typical sword-shaped leaves. The rootstock is usually a corm. The blooms which sometimes have scent are collected in inflorescence and contain six tepals. The nectar is produced mostly in the base of the bloom from the glands of the ovary, which is where the flower forms a tube-like end. In some species there is no such end and the plant only provides pollen to pollinating insects.

The ovary is 3-locular. It contains many seeds with different vision in the different members. Sometimes the seed has a fine delicate coat like Gladiolus and in other cases it is black and with a hard coat as Babiana. It is often pellet-like, sometimes circular or semi-circular.

Many species of this group are among the best-known ornamental plants in the gardens or in pots. Some good examples are Freesia, Ixia, Crocosmia, Gladiolus and other popular flowers.