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Trimezia steyermarkii - Berlin Botanical Garden - IMG 8720.JPG
Trimezia steyermarkii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Trimezieae
Genus: Trimezia
Salisbury ex Herbert
Type species
Trimezia meridensis
  • Lansbergia de Vriese
  • Poarchon Allemão
  • Xanthocromyon H.Karst.
  • Remaclea C.Morren
  • Anomalostylus R.C.Foster
Flower of T. juncifolia
Flower of T. violacea

Trimezia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae, native to the warmer parts of southern Mexico, Central America, South America, Florida, and the West Indies.[1] The genus name is derived from the Greek words tri, meaning "three", and meze, meaning "greater".[2]


Trimezia typically grow in damp grassland.[3]

The rootstock is variously described as an elongated corm or a rhizome. Plants vary in height from about 7 cm (2.8 in) in the case of T. pusilla to 1.6 m (5.2 ft) in the case of T. spathata subsp. sincorana. Linear to lanceolate leaves grow from the base of the plant. Most species have flowers in some shade of yellow. The six tepals are arranged in two series. The outer tepals (sepals) are larger than the inner ones (petals); both may have brown-purple markings at the base. The stamens have free filaments (i.e. they not fused together or fused to the style). The style is divided into three branches, each of which usually has two lobes.[4]

Distinction from Neomarica[edit]

Trimezia is closely related to the genus Neomarica, and species have been transferred between the two genera. According to Chukr & Giulietti (2001), characters of the flowers do not clearly distinguish the genera, whereas vegetative characters do. Some which they consider diagnostic are shown in the following table.[5]

Characters Trimezia Neomarica
Underground system always a corm almost always a rhizome, only a corm in 10% of the species
Leaf bases (cataphylls) arranged in a spiral arranged in a plane, with the base of one clasping the one above (equitant)
Leaves flattened or circular, not folded sword-shaped (ensiform), folded lengthwise (conduplicate)
Flowering stem (scape) circular in cross-section (terete), never leaf-like flattened, always leaf-like

However, molecular phylogenetic studies have not upheld any of the genera within the tribe Trimezieae; three of the four main clades found all combine species from more than one genus.[6]


As of September 2014, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepts 28 species of Trimezia.[7]

  1. Trimezia bauensis Ravenna - Santa Catarina
  2. Trimezia brevicaulis Ravenna - Bahia, Minas Gerais
  3. Trimezia campanula Lovo & Mello-Silva - Minas Gerais
  4. Trimezia cathartica (Klatt) Niederl. - Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goiás
  5. Trimezia chimantensis Steyerm. - Macizo del Chimantá
  6. Trimezia exillima Ravenna - Minas Gerais
  7. Trimezia fistulosa R.C.Foster - Minas Gerais
  8. Trimezia fosteriana Steyerm. - Bolívar in Venezuela
  9. Trimezia guaricana Ravenna - Guárico
  10. Trimezia guianensis Ravenna - Guyana
  11. Trimezia itamarajuensis Ravenna - Bahia
  12. Trimezia jaguatirica Ravenna - Minas Gerais
  13. Trimezia juncifolia (Klatt) Benth. & Hook.f. - Brazil
  14. Trimezia lutea (Klatt) R.C.Foster - Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil
  15. Trimezia martinicensis (Jacq.) Herb. - Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia
  16. Trimezia marumbina Ravenna - Paraná
  17. Trimezia mogolensis Ravenna - Minas Gerais
  18. Trimezia organensis Ravenna - Rio de Janeiro
  19. Trimezia plicatifolia Chukr - Minas Gerais
  20. Trimezia pusilla Ravenna - Goiás
  21. Trimezia riopretensis Ravenna - Minas Gerais
  22. Trimezia sobolifera Ravenna - Florida, Mexico, Venezuela
  23. Trimezia sooretamensis Ravenna - Espírito Santo
  24. Trimezia spathata (Klatt) Baker - Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
  25. Trimezia steyermarkii R.C.Foster - Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela
  26. Trimezia suffusa Ravenna - São Paulo
  27. Trimezia truncata Ravenna - Minas Gerais
  28. Trimezia violacea (Klatt) Ravenna - Bahia, Minas Gerais

Some former species which are now regarded as synonyms of those above include:[7]

  • Trimezia martii (Baker) R.C.Foster = Trimezia spathata subsp. spathata
  • Trimezia meridensis Herb. = Trimezia martinicensis
  • Trimezia sincorana Ravenna = Trimezia spathata subsp. sincorana


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Manning, John; Goldblatt, Peter (2008), The Iris Family: Natural History & Classification, Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, pp. 226–29, ISBN 0-88192-897-6
  3. ^ Chukr, N.S. & Giulietti, A.M. (2008). Revisão de Trimezia Salisb. ex Herb. (Iridaceae) para o Brasil. Sitientibus Sérrie Ciências Biológicas 8: 15-58.
  4. ^ Innes, Clive (1985), The World of Iridaceae, Ashington, UK: Holly Gate International, ISBN 978-0-948236-01-3, pp. 375–379
  5. ^ Chukr, Nadia Said & Giulietti, Ana Maria (2001), "New combinations in the genus Neomarica (Iridaceae) and its segregation from Trimezia on the basis of morphological features", Novon, 11 (4): 376–380, doi:10.2307/3393147, retrieved 2012-05-07
  6. ^ Lovo, Juliana; Winkworth, Richard C. & Mello-Silva, Renato (2012), "New insights into Trimezieae (Iridaceae) phylogeny: what do molecular data tell us?", Annals of Botany, 110 (3): 689–702, doi:10.1093/aob/mcs127, PMC 3400455, PMID 22711695
  7. ^ a b Search for "Trimezia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2014-09-03