Low iris (Iris humilis)

Dmitry Poltavsky - Iris humilis

Iris humilis is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Iris and in the Psammiris section. It is a rhizomatous perennial, from a wide distribution range from Europe to China. It has sword-shaped leaves, a short stem and yellow flowers with an orange beard. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions. It has the common name of Sand iris. Although, this name normally refers to Iris arenaria, which was formerly once thought to be a subspecies of Iris humilis, but it is now a separate species in its own right. It is also known as Low iris and Yellow iris. Note, that Iris pseudacorus is commonly known as the Yellow flag or Yellow iris as well. It is known as Sand-Schwertlilie (meaning sand iris) in Germany. The Latin specific epithet Humilis refers to low growing or dwarfish. It was first published and described by Johann Gottlieb Georgi in Bemerkungen einer Reise im Russischen Reich (Bemerk. Reise Russ. Reich) Vol. 1 page 196 in 1775. Georgi described from specimen plants from near to Lake Baikal (it was called originally Iris flavissima). Which is now classified as a synonym of Iris humilis. Like many other irises, most parts of the plant are poisonous (rhizome and leaves). Also handling the plant may cause a skin irritation or an allergic reaction. The rhizomes can be used as part of a Tibetan herbal medicine to regulate menstruation. A powdered form of the rhizome can be used for sepsis and infections.