Roof Iris
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Roof Iris
aturalized Photo: Nongthombam Ullysess
Common name: Roof Iris, Chinese Iris, Wall Iris, Japanese Roof Iris • Manipuri: ꯑꯋꯥ ꯀꯣꯝꯕꯤꯔꯩ Awa kombirei
Botanical name: Iris tectorum    Family: Iridaceae (Iris family)
Synonyms: Iris tectorum var. alba, Iris tomiolopha, Iris rosthornii

Roof Iris is beautiful blue-flowered Iris native to China, Korea, Japan and possibly Myanmar. Roof iris is so named because it used to be grown in thatched roofs in parts of Japan. It is seen naturalized in hill stations like Mussoorie. The plant has creeping, thick rhizomes and slender roots. Leaves occur mainly in fans arising from the base, yellowish green, broadly sword-shaped, curved, 15-50 cm long and 1.5-3.5 cm wide, with base surrounded by fibers. Flowering stems are 1- or 2-branched, 20-40 cm long, 1- or 2-leaved. Flowers are bluish violet, about 10 cm in diameter, with stalk to 1 cm. Flower tube is slender, to 3 cm. Outer petals are mottled darker around conspicuous, white, irregularly toothed crest. These petals are broadly ovate, 5-7 × 4 cm. Inner petals spread horizontally in the fully open flower. These are elliptic, 4.5-5 × 3 cm. Stamens about 2.5 cm, anthers bright yellow. Style branches pale bluish violet, about 3.5 cm. Capsule ellipsoid or obovoid, 4.5-6 × 2-2.5 cm. Flowering: April-May.

Identification credit: Darrell Probst, Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand & Kufri, Himachal Pradesh.

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