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Btanical Name : Iris kemaonensis
Species: Iris kemaonensis
*Iris duthiei Foster
*Iris kamaonensis Wall.
*Iris kingiana Foster
*Iris tigrina Jacquem. ex Baker
Common Name: Kumaon iris
Habitat : Iris kemaonensis is native to East Asia – Himalayas from India to Bhutan and western China. It grows on alpine pastures at elevations of 3500 – 4200 metres.
Iris kemaonensis is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The leaves are variable in size, they can grow up to between 6–20 cm (2–8 in) long, and between 0.2 and 1 cm wide, at blooming time. Before the plant produces fruit or seed capsules, they extend up to between 34–45 cm (13–18 in) long, taller than the flowers. They are light green, greyish green or yellowish green. They are glaucous, and linear, with a rounded apex. In mild areas, it is semi-evergreen, but generally they are deciduous.
It has a slender short stem, that can grow up to between 5–12 cm (2–5 in) tall.
The stem has 2 to 3 green, lanceolate, (scarious) membranous, spathes (leaves of the flower bud). They can be between 5–6 cm (2–2 in) long and between 1 and 1.8 cm wide. They are scarious (membranous) and acuminate (pointed) at the tips. They can sheath or cover the base of the stem.
It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
The stems hold 1 or 2 terminal (top of stem) flowers, which bloom in late spring, between May and June, (in UK and Europe) and between April and July, (in India).
The scented flowers, are 4–8 cm (2–3 in) in diameter, they come in shades of purple, from lilac, to lilac-purple, to pale purple. The flowers are spotted, or blotched with a dark colour. They are mottled like the skin of a reptile. The flowers are very similar in form to Iris hookeriana, but similar in shade to Iris kashmiriana.
It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals), known as the ‘standards’. The falls are spatulate (spoon shaped), or obovate, between 3.5–5 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5 cm wide. They have ovate blades. In the centre of the petal is a dense beard of white hairs, with yellow, or orange tips. The upright standards are oblanceolate, elliptic, or obovate shaped, are between 4–5 cm (2–2 in) long and 1 cm wide. The standards are paler than the falls.
It has pedicels that are between 1 and 1.5 cm long trumpet shaped perianth tube that 5–7.5 cm (2–3 in) long, which is longer than spathe. It has 2.5-3.2 cm long and 5-6mm wide, style branches, it is dark in the centre and paler at the edges. It has small triangular crests. It has 2-2.3 cm long stamens, 6 cm long ovary, blue filaments, lavender anthers and white pollen.
After the iris has flowered, it produces an globose seed capsule, that is 2–2.5 cm (1–1 in) long, and 1.5 – 1.8 cm wide. They have short beak, taper to a pointed apex and dehisce (split open) laterally. Inside the capsule, are pyriform seeds, which are reddish brown, which have a milky yellow or cream aril (appendage). The seed capsule grows on stems, that are about 45 cm long, above the height of the leaves. This habit is similar to Algerian Iris (Iris unguicularis).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil containing lime. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7.5 or higher. The rhizome is compact and non-stoloniferous. Closely related to Iris dolichosiphon. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering, though it can be done at almost any time. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
The flowers of Iris kemaonensis are used in Tibetan herbal medicine. They are described as having an acrid taste. They are analgesic and ophthalmic, and are used in the treatment of tinnitus (pain in the ears) and to treat weakening of the eyesight.
The seeds of the iris are also used in herbal medicine in Tibet, they also have an acrid taste, are analgesic and are anthelmintic and vermifuge. They are used in the treatment of colic pains, when due to intestinal worms. They are also used to treat hot and cold disorders of the stomach and intestines, and also the pain, below the neck and shoulders.
The roots and the whole of the iris is a stomachic, which can be used on scabies and urticaria. The roots and leaves of the plant are diuretic, and used to treat bronchitis, dropsy and various liver complaints. When broken down into a powder, they are used to treat sores and pimples. The roots of the plant, are used to treat urinary disorders and kidney troubles. The seeds are used to treat coughs and colds. In India, they are also used as spasmolytic, febrifuge and antidote for opium addiction.
Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.