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  Flora Wildflowers /  Stinking Iris

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Stinking Iris

Iris foetidissima     Fr: Iris gigot

 Iris, Stinking photo iris-stinking0002b.jpg

This is a very pretty pale-colored iris, that has an unfortunated odor. The fetid smell is brought out in it's name (foetidissima), or "stinking", by crushing the leaves. Tough, rhizomatous, tufted.

The flowers are borne on somewhat flattened stems, with 2-3 short branches. Several flowers open in succession. The enveloping spathes are green and leaf-like but much shorter.

Flowers. May-July

Altitude. under1200

Flower. Color can vary from a dull purple, violet tinged with yellow, to pale yellow (our photo), generally with darker veins on the falls.

Leaves. Tall and pointed, shiny, deep green and evergreen; 10-15 mm wide.

Habitat. Woods, scrub and hedgerows; likes shade and damp. Ours were found in tall grass beneath trees.

Pod. The fruit pods, green in the Spring (photo-3) open in the Fall to reveal rows of bright orange-red seeds; these persist through the winter.

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