views updated

Iridaceae A family of monocotyledonous (see MONOCOTYLEDON), perennial herbs that grow from bulbs, corms, or rhizomes. The flowers have perianths with 2 similar or dissimilar whorls, each of 3 segments, 3 stamens, and an inferior, 3-celled ovary. They are cosmopolitan, with some 92 genera, comprising about 1850 species. Many genera are cultivated, especially Iris, Crocus, and Gladiolus.