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Iris pallida

Iris pallida, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Iridaceae
Subfamilia: Iridoideae
Tribus: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: I. subg. Iris
Section: I. sect. Iris
Series: I. ser. Pallidae
Species: Iris pallida

Subspecies: I. p. subsp. cengialti – I. p. subsp. illyrica – I. p. subsp. pallida

Iris pallida Lam. in Lam. & al., Encycl. 3: 294. 1789.


Iris × pallida Ten. = Iris × germanica L.
Iris pallida Salisb. = Iris halophila Pall.


Iris × pallide-caerulaea Pers., Syn. Pl. 1: 51 (1805), nom. superfl.
Iris × germanica subsp. pallida (Lam.) O.Bolòs & Vigo, Fl. Països Catalans 4: 159 (2001).


I. × kochii

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Italy, Yugoslavia
Introduced into:
Albania, Bulgaria, California, Canary Is., Czechoslovakia, France, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Lebanon-Syria, Missouri, Palestine, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, West Himalaya

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Lamarck, J.-B. 1789–1792. Encyclopédie Méthodique. Botanique. Tome 3. viii + 759 pp. Panckoucke, Paris; Plomteux, Liége. BHL Reference page. : 3: 294.

Additional references

Tutin, T.G., Heywood, V.H., Burges, N.A., Moore, D.M., Valentine, D.H., Walters, S.M. & Webb, D.A. (eds.) 1980. Flora Europaea. Volume 5: Alismataceae to Orchidaceae (Monocotyledones). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge / London / New Rochelle / Melbourne / Sydney, xxxvi + 452 pp., ISBN 0-521-20108-X. Reference page. 


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Iris pallida in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Feb 15. Reference page. 
Hassler, M. 2022. Iris pallida. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Feb 15. Reference page. 2022. Iris pallida. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 15 Feb 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Iris pallida. Published online. Accessed: Feb 15 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Iris pallida in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2022 Feb 15.

Vernacular names
magyar: Dalmát nőszirom

Iris pallida, the Dalmatian iris or sweet iris, is a hardy flowering perennial plant of the genus Iris, family Iridaceae. It is native to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) but widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a member of the subgenus Iris, meaning that it is a bearded iris, and grows from a rhizome.


This iris prefers rocky places in the Mediterranean and Submediterranean zone and reaches sometimes montane regions at its southern range in Montenegro. It grows to a stem height of 50–80 cm (20–31 in). The leaves are bluish-green in color, and sword-shaped, 40–50 cm (16–20 in) in length, and 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in width. The inflorescence, produced in May/June, is fan-shaped and contains two or three flowers which are usually pale purplish to whitish.

It is cultivated as a garden plant, and commercially for extraction of essential oils from its rhizome (orris root).

The variegated cultivar 'Variegata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2][3]

Three subspecies of Iris pallida s.l. are recognised by some authors as species: Iris pallida subsp. cengialti,[1] (with deep purplish flowers) from Slovenia and adjacent Italy, Iris pallida ssp. illyrica,[1] from the North Dalmatian coast, and Iris pallida ssp. pseudopallida from the South Dalmatian coast.

"Iris pallida Lam. is an accepted name". (The Plant List). 23 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
"RHS Plantfinder - Iris pallida Lam. 'Variegata' Hort". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
"AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 55. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

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