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The barbary nut iris

Close-ups of Maltese nature plants around us

The Barbary nut iris or il-fjurdulis is-selvaġġ in Maltese is frequently found in garigue, rocky steppes and country footpaths, particularly in the coastal area. This perennial plant grows up to 25cm.

Usually one, sometimes two, very thin, long, prostrate, cylindrical leaves, often twisted. Flowers bright blue to violet, with whitish and yellowish centres, borne on slender stems, appear between March and June. The flowers open in the early afternoon, closing at sunset.

A poorly known, very rare, larger and early flowering ‘form’ is reported from the Maltese Islands.

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