Fine Art

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Iridaceae
Subfamilia: Iridoideae
Tribus: Irideae
Genus: Dietes
Species: (6)
D. bicolor – D. butcheriana – D. flavida – D. grandiflora – D. iridioides – D. robinsoniana

Dietes Salisb. ex Klatt (1866) nom. cons.

Type species: D. compressa (L.f.) Klatt = D. iridioides
(L.) Sweet


Naron Medik., Hist. & Commentat. Acad. Elect. Sci. Theod.-Palat. 6: 419. (1790)

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Klatt, F.W. 1866. Linnaea 34: 583.


African Plants Database (version 3.4.0). Dietes. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Accessed: 2014-09-02. 2018. Dietes in The Orders and Families of Monocotyledons. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 September 10.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Dietes in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 September 10. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Dietes. Published online. Accessed: 10 September 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Dietes in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 September 10. 2018. Dietes. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 September 10.

Vernacular names

ދިވެހިބަސް: Zuluirissläktet
English: African irises
magyar: Kaffernőszirom

Dietes is a genus of rhizomatous plants of the family Iridaceae, first described as a genus in 1866. Common names include wood iris, fortnight lily, African iris, Japanese iris and butterfly iris, each of which may be used differently in different regions for one or more of the six species within the genus.

Most species are native to southern and central Africa, with one (Dietes robinsoniana) native to Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia. A few species have become naturalized in other parts of the world.[1]


These plants were formerly placed in the genus Moraea, but were reclassified because they are rhizomatous. Like Moraea, they differ from Iris in having flowers with six free tepals that are not joined into a tube at their bases.

Some references mention the species Dietes vegeta or D. vegeta variegata, springing from some confusion with Moraea vegata (which grows from a corm, not a rhizome). The name D. vegeta is commonly misapplied to both D. grandiflora or D. iridioides.

The genus name is derived from the Greek words di-, meaning "two", and etes, meaning "affinities".[2]


Dietes bicolor (Steud.) Sweet ex Klatt (yellow wild iris, peacock flower, butterfly iris) - Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal
Dietes butcheriana Gerstner Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal
Dietes flavida Oberm. - South Africa, Swaziland
Dietes grandiflora N.E.Br. (wild iris, large wild iris, fairy iris) - Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal; naturalized in St. Helena, Mauritius, Rodrigues Island in Indian Ocean, Western Australia
Dietes iridioides (L.) Sweet ex Klatt (wild iris, African iris, Cape iris, fortnight lily, morea iris) - widespread from Ethiopia to Cape Province; naturalized in Madeira, Mauritius, Réunion, Hawaii, Jamaica
Dietes robinsoniana (F.Muell.) Klatt (wedding lily) - Lord Howe Island (part of New South Wales)

Dietes bicolor has cream or yellow flowers. D. grandiflora and D. iridioides both have white flowers marked with yellow and violet, and appear similar in photographs, but they are quite different: those of grandiflora are much larger, last three days, and have dark spots at the base of the outer tepals, while those of iridioides are small, last only one day, and lack the spots. D. grandiflora is also a larger plant overall.

Dietes bicolor

Dietes iridioides

Dietes robinsoniana

Dietes bicolor


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families

Manning, John; Goldblatt, Peter (2008). The Iris Family: Natural History & Classification. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. pp. 204–207. ISBN 0-88192-897-6.

External links


Floridata: Dietes
Goldblatt, P. (1981) Systematics, physiology and evolution of Dietes (Iridaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 68: 132–153.

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World