SPECIES DESCRIPTION
MORAEA SISYRINCHIUM

Family and Genus:- See- IRIDACEAE

Common Names:- Barbary-nut

Homotypic Synonyms:- Diaphane edulis, Gynandriris sisyrinchium,
Helixyra sisyrinchium, Iris collina, Iris sisyrinchium, Xiphion sisyrinchium.

Meaning:- Moraea (L) For R. Moore English botanist.
                  Sisyrinchium (Gr) Pig-snout, a name used by the Greek philosopher
Theophrastus for iris.
               
General description:- Variable, low to medium, cormous perennial, 10-30(-45) cm.

Corm:-
1) 15-30 mm diam, globose, surrounded by numerous tunics, the outer coarsely
     fibrous.

Leaves:-
1) Few, often 1-2, deep green, canaliculate,10-50 cm x 15-5 mm, often longer than
    the pedicel.

Flower:-
1) Fugitive, in 1-4 compact cymes, each with 1-6 flowers.
2) Spathes, 4-6 cm, scarious.
3) Perianth, violet-blue to purple.
4) Falls, c. 30 x 10 mm, with an elliptic-obovate limb, with a white or yellow patch.
5) Standard, c. 25 x 5 mm, with a slender, canaliculate claw and lanceolate limb.
6) Style-branches, suberect, deeply divided at the tip in two (2-fid).
7) Beak of ovary 20-30 mm, very slender.
8) Bracts, up to 4 pairs, each enclosing several flowers, scarious.

Fruit:-
1) Capsule, (excluding beak) 20 x 4 mm.
2) Seeds 15 mm, pyriform, brown.

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Habitat:- Rocky hillslopes with open dry shrubby vegetation, olive groves, often in
trampled soil along tracks. 0-600(-1100) m. (occasionally to 1400 m. in dolines).

Distribution:- Widespread and common throughout the Mediterranean. Widespread
and common on Crete.

Flowering time:- Late Feb to early June.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton
 
Family and Genus:- See-

Homotypic Synonyms:-

Click here for a glossary of terms used.
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