PLANT: Rhizomatous herbs. STEMS: erect, simple or branched. LEAVES: mainly basal, equitant, linear to ensiform (sword-like). FLOWERS: showy, solitary or few to many borne in paired spathe‑like bracts; perianth 6‑parted, united into a tube at base, the outer 3 tepals (sepals or falls) spreading, sometimes bearded, the inner tepals (petals or standards) erect or arching; stamens 3, opposite the sepals; style branches 3, petaloid, covering the stamens, the apex bifid, the stigmas on the abaxial surfaces. NOTES: 150 spp. N. Temperate zones, particularly Eurasian. (Greek: iris = rainbow) REFERENCES: Mason, Charles T., Jr. 2001. Iridaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).