Parts of the Iris Flower
- Spathe: The papery covering surrounding emerging buds. It turns brown and protects the ovary as it develops.
- Standards: The three upright petals of the iris flower.
- Falls: The three lower petals of the iris flower that may either hang down or flare out.
- Beard: The fuzzy "caterpillar" from which bearded iris get their name.
They are found at the base of the falls, tucked in towards the center of
the flower. They are also found on the inside of the standards of some
species of aril irises.
- Haft: The hafts are the base of the falls and standards where they begin
narrow near the center of the flower. In older cultivars and some
species the hafts of the falls are often marked with veins and lines.
Flowers so marked are sometimes referred to as being "hafty" and it is
often considered a fault unless it pleasantly adds to the
distinctiveness of the flower.
- Pistil: The female reproductive structure of a flower which in iris
consists of ovary, style-arms and stigma.
- Ovary: The ovule-bearing part of the pistil at the base of the iris
flower which develops after fertilization into the seedpod containing
seeds derived from the ovules.
- Styles: The part of the pistil that rises from the ovary and bares the
stigma. In the iris, it branches into three flat arms, that may or may
not be the same color as the petals.
- Style Crest: The flared end of the style arm, usually split into two
projections and often serrated.
- Style Arm: Three style arms rest above the anthers; may be the same or
contrasting colors as the iris flower.
- Stigma: The part of the pistil that receives the pollen. In the iris, it
is a lip projecting from the under side of the style arm, below the style crest.
- Stamen: The. male reproductive structure of a flower consisting of a
filament, and an anther containing the pollen grains. They rest between
the style arms and the falls.
- Anther: Stiff, fuzzy stem-like appendage holding pollen grains, located
under the style arm.
- Signal: On beardless irises there is often a signal consisting of a
bright contrasting spot of a different color that replaces the beard.
- Crest: Instead of a signal or a beard the crested or Evansia irises of
the Lophiris section have a ridge or cockscomb of petal like material
called a crest.
- Spur: A short side stem that may or may not be near the top of the
- Stigmatic Lip: The lip-like petal under the style crest which receives
- Space Age Iris: These irises have horns, spoons or flounces extending
out from the end of the beard
- Horned: Horned iris have petal extrusions below the beard that curve up
and away from the fall to form a pointed horn.
- Spoons: Spoons are long stringy filaments that extend out from below the
end of the beard and are tipped by small, cupped petaloids.
- Flounces: Iris with flounces have multi-petaled fan shaped appendages
without beards that arise from the center of the fall.
- Perianth Tube: The bases of the petals join together into a tube that
surrounds the style and extends down to the ovary. Some species, such as
Iris unguicularis, have very long perianth tubes that replace the stem
and extend down to the ovary which is at ground level.