Herb: Crested Iris


Latin name: Iris cristata


Family: Iridaceae (Iris Family)



Medicinal use of Crested Iris:

An ointment made from the roots is applied to cancerous ulcers. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of hepatitis.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
15 cm
(6 inches)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods, wooded bottoms and ravines.

Edible parts of Crested Iris:

Root - used as a spice. Frequently chewed by local people to alleviate thirst. When first chewed the roots have a pleasant sweet taste, within a few minutes this changes to a burning sensation far more pungent than capsicums. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It does not require cold stratification. 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 in July/August. 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.

Cultivation of Crested Iris:

Rich woods, wooded bottoms and ravines.

Known hazards of Iris cristata:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.