Iridaceae

Select from:

Other cultivated genera that can naturalise include: Ixia, Freesia, Hermodactylus, Schizostylis, Spiraxis, Watsonia, etc.

Iridaceae/Croscosmia . . . . Montbretia


Crocosmia paniculata . . . . Aunt-Eliza

A garden escape scattered across the BI (less common than the below); pleated lvs and long flower tube

Crocosmia paniculata x C. pottsii . . . . Crocosmia

A garden escape scattered across the BI; also the similar C. masoniorum (which has stamens exceeding petals)

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora . . . . Montbretia

A widespread and pernicious garden escape; usually <80 cm tall

Iridaceae/Crocus . . . . Crocus

>30 spp. cultivated, some of which set seed and naturalise readily; only a few common spp. shown

Choose from:

Autumn-flowering       or       Spring-flowering

Autumn flowering:

Crocus (3 stamens)
Colchicum (6 stamens)
Sternbergia (6 stamens)
also the similar

Spring flowering

- Yellow or yellow throated fls
C. chrysanthus
C. x luteus
C. biflorus


- White, purple or mauve fls
C. tommasinianus
C. neapolitanus
C. vernus

Several other spp. are widely grown and often naturalised

Crocus biflorus . . . . . Silvery Crocus

Spring flowering, yellow throat

Crocus chrysanthus . . . . . Golden Crocus

Spring flowering; corm covering splits horizontally

Crocus neapolitanus . . . . . Spring Crocus

The most widely planted sp. - frequently naturalised; similar to C. vernus but stigmas > anthers

Crocus speciosus . . . . . Large Autumn Crocus

Rarely naturalised; one of a number of autumn-flowering spp. that include C. sativus (cultivated Saffron)

Crocus tommasinianus . . . . . Early Crocus

Often floppy; rapidly spreading and naturalising by seed


Compare autumn-flowering Colchicum

Crocus vernus . . . . . Spring Crocus

Commonly planted and frequently naturalised; similar to C. neapolitanus but stigmas not > anthers

Crocus x luteus . . . . . Yellow Crocus

Spring flowering; corm cover fibrous, net-like or splitting vertically


Similar but autumn-flowering is Yellow autumn crocus:

Iridaceae/Freesia . . . . Freesia


Freesia x hybrida . . . . Freesia

Unusual garden escape

Iridaceae/Gladiolus . . . . Gladiolus


Gladiolus callianthus . . . . Abyssinian Gladiolus

Unusual garden escape - this on Royal Jersey golf course

Gladiolus communis . . . . Gladiolus

Scattered as cultivation relic, esp. in SW and CI where it can be frequent

The native wild gladiolus (G. illyricus) with <8 fls, is a rare plant of the New Forest

Iridaceae/Iris . . . . Irises

A large number of other cultivated Iris spp. can be found on occasion

Iris foetidissima . . Stinking Iris

Locally frequent in S

Iris germanica . . . . Early or Bearded Iris

Scattered in Br (esp. Merseyside and the S), rare in Ire

Iris pseudacorus . . . . Flag Iris

Common in wet areas

Iridaceae/Romulea . . . . Sand Crocus


Romulea columnae . . . . Sand Crocus

Maritime turf - frequent in CI, rare in Devon/Cornwall

Iridaceae/Sisyrinchium . . . . Blue-eyed-grass


Sisyrinchium bermudiana . . . . Blue-eyed-grass

Local in W Ire; if tepals >10 mm it is likely to be Sisyrynchium montanum

Yellow-flowered plants could be S. californicum, S. laxum or S. striatum.