Hayne's Iris / Iris haynei / سوسن فقوعة

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Status: Rare

Hayne's Iris is a geophyte endemic species to Palestine. It belongs to the Iridaceae family. It has smooth, linear or lanceolate, greyish-green leaves, entire, rosette, and alternate. It has long slender stem or peduncle, that can grow up to 60 cm tall. The stems carry the flowers high above the foliage. It has two pairs of petals, three large sepals, outer petals (falls) and three inner, smaller petals, tepals (standards). Standards and falls are covered by a dense net of veins interspersed with a profusion of fine, small dots; the patch is dark purple, almost black, petal or tepal color: Crimson.

Flowers can be pollinated by night-sheltering solitary male bees. They are Flowers hermaphrodite only and blooming between March and April. Fruits are loculicidal capsules (meaning it has chambers. It has Homogeneous seeds-fruits.

Ecology: Hayne's Iris is found on soils containing limestone and dolomite or at the edges of fields in terra rossa. They can be found at an altitude of 150–550 m. It needs very dry conditions during the summer. It is glycophyte in terms of salinity resistance and follows the Mediterranean Chorotype.

Facts: 1- Most parts of the plant are poisonous (rhizome and leaves), if ingested can cause stomach pains and vomiting, handling the plant may cause a skin irritation. 2-It is endemic plant to Faqqu’a area in Jenin in the northern of the west bank. 

Uses: Used as a parent of a hybrid cultivated variety. This is a sterile triploid plant that is grown as a pick flower and used as ornamental flowers.

Distribution in Palestine: It grows in Mediterranean woodlands, shrublands, and on rocky hillsides, found on the northern west bank, mostly in Faqqu’a in Jenin.

Cool Facts: Recently in 2016 it has been selected to be the national flower of the state of Palestine. 

Other names: Gilboa iris.

 IUCN red list status: Vulnerable.

Local status: Vulnerable.