Iris sibirica L.

Siberian iris

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Siberian iris is a Eurasian native, very widely cultivated around the world. Numerous forms have been developed, and some may escape cultivation in the northeastern United States, and well as the West Coast. In New England it can be found along roadsides and in disturbed areas.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade shape
the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
Leaf blade length
400–800 mm
Flower petal color
  • blue to purple
  • white
Flower petal length
45–55 mm
Petal fusion
the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a monochasial cyme (an axis with a terminal flower, below it a branch with a terminal flower, this branch may itself have a branch and so on)
Ovary position
the ovary is below the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
Fruit type (specific)
the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
Fruit length
30–45 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Axillary bulblets
    there are no bulblets being produced in axils
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached by its base to the filament
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused (the number of carpels equals the number of locules)
    Flower bracts
    there are bracts associated with the flower
    Flower number
    2–5
    Flower orientation
    the flowers point upward or spread or curve outward
    Flower petal color
    • blue to purple
    • white
    Flower petal length
    45–55 mm
    Flower shape
    the flower is another shape
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has no hairs on it
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a monochasial cyme (an axis with a terminal flower, below it a branch with a terminal flower, this branch may itself have a branch and so on)
    Length of flower stalk
    100–150 mm
    Marks on petals
    the petals have spots or streaks on them
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals and/or petals
    there are six petals, sepals or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is below the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    the petal narrows abruptly at the base
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble petals in color and texture
    Sepal length
    50–70 mm
    Sepal orientation
    • the sepals are curved outwards and downwards
    • the sepals are slightly curved outwards from the plant
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spathe
    • the plant does not have a spathe
    • the plant has a spathe surrounding the flower spike
    Spathe form
    NA
    Spathe length
    30–50 mm
    Stamen number
    3
    Stamen position relative to petals
    the stamens are lined up with the sepals
    Stamens fused outwards
    the stamens are fused to the petals or tepals at or near their bases
    Style petal-like
    the style is broad and flattened like a petal
    Tepals
    the petals and sepals are similar in size and color
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule ridges
    there are no ribs or wings on the capsule
    Fruit compartments
    there are three locules in the fruit
    Fruit cross-section
    the fruit is roughly triangular in cross-section
    Fruit length
    30–45 mm
    Fruit stalk orientation
    the fruits point upward or spread or curve outward
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Fruit width
    10–13 mm
    Other markings on berry
    NA
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade basal lobes
    the leaf blades do not have basal lobes
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf blade clasps the stem at the base, or the leaf blade goes all the way around the stem, so that the stem appears to pierce the leaf blade
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf blade has no noticeable waxy or powdery bloom
    Leaf blade cross-section
    the leaf blade is more or less flat in cross-section
    Leaf blade faces
    the surfaces of the leaf blade are composed of tissues from the abaxial side only
    Leaf blade form
    Fully-formed (i.e., expanded), +/- green leaf blades are found somewhere on the plant
    Leaf blade length
    400–800 mm
    Leaf blade orientation
    the edge of the leaf blade faces the stem of the plant
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf blade width
    4–6 mm
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Leaflet number
    0
    Stipule twining
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on this plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the leaves have no particular smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    • NA
    • the flowering stem is held upright
    Flowering stem interior
    the flowering stem is hollow
    Flowering stem leaves
    there is at least one fully-formed leaf on the flowering stem
    Stem hairs
    the stem is nearly or completely hairless

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Iris ensata:
flowers 8–15 cm wide in life, capsules terete or nearly so in cross-section with 6 longitudinal ridges, and seeds +/- circular in outline (vs. I. sibirica, with flowers mostly 6–8 cm wide in life, capsules rounded-triangular in cross- section, lacking longitudinal ridges, and seeds D-shaped in outline).
Iris versicolor:
leaf blades 10–30 mm wide, stems solid, and petals 8–12 mm wide (vs. I. sibirica, with leaf blades 4–6 mm wide, stems hollow, and petals 12–20 mm wide).

Family

Iridaceae

Genus

Iris

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

8.  Iris sibirica L. E

Siberian iris. CT, MA, NH, VT. Edges of lawns, fields, roadsides, compost heaps, waste areas. 
The report of this species from ME by Campbell et al. (1995) is based on a collection of a cultivated plant— Jun 1957, Richards s.n. ( MAINE!).