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Iris albicans

Phylum: Anthophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Iridaceae

Iris albicans

Compared to the Yellow Flag IrisIris pseudacorus this beautiful white bloom, which is encountered throughout the Mediterranean region, seems very exotic. Unlike the Flag Iris, however, it is doubtful if this is a true wildflower, and the many specimens found along roadsides are probably garden escapes - but most welcome, nonetheless!

Iris albicans on a roadside verge

Description

Iris albicans grows to a height of 30 to 60 cm and has blade-like grey-green leaves. Two or three white flowers, each usually 6 to 10cm across, form a typical inflorescence.

Habitat

In Mediterranean countries this is very common roadside flower, but in the Middle East this plant is much grown in and around cemetaries.

Distribution

These beautiful pure-white flowers are found throughout the Southern Europe, but they were probably introduced by man. Seldom growing taller than 60 cm, this lovely iris can occasionally be found with blue flowers. In the Arab world this wildflower is often found in and around graveyards.

This specimens shown here were photographed in the Algarve in Portugal in April.


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