This impressive plant is locally common in southern England, Wales and in the south-eastern part of Ireland.
Stinking Iris can be found in scrub and woodland areas, but in Wales the best place to see this is to head for the sand dunes in south west Wales where it is fairly easy to find. It likes calcareous substrates, and sand dunes have a high level of crushed shells which provide the ideal habitat.
This plant's common name comes from the smell which comes from the sword-shaped leaves when they are crushed or bruised - it is said to resemble rotten raw beef.
The plant grows to around 60 cm in height, and the flowers, which are a dull mauve and fawn colour are large - 7-8 cm wide. The fruits are oblong and three-sided. When ripe they split open to reveal orange seeds. Stinking Iris flowers from May to July.
The pictures on this page were taken in Kenfig National Nature Reserve in South Wales.