by Stephen Mifsud
   25 Jul 2024      ()
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Iris sicula   (Sicilian Iris)

Iris sicula  (IRIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Jan-2007 (taxon update: Jan-2007)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Iris sicula - datasheet created on Jan-2007. Retrieved from on 25-Jul-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Iris siculaTod.
Published in Nuov. Gen. Sp. : 7 (1858)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms

Plant Family :

Iridaceae Juss. (The Iris Family)
23 species from the Iridaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Sicilian Iris

Maltese name(s) :

Fjurduliż Sqalli

Status for Malta :

Subendemic. Found in Malta and neighbouring territories such as in Sicily, Lampedusa, Pantelleria, and other islands.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule III and VI of [S.L. 549.44] (strictly protected species)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

April – May

Colour of Flowers:

Blue or Violet


Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

Iris: Greek word for rainbow alluding to the wide variety of colours that the flowers of this genus possess. Iris was also the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology. Further info: [1] [2] [3]. (Greek origin )
sicula: Originating from or related to Sicily. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

Very debatable species for being synonymised and hence lumped by many classifications with Iris pallida, which is a species that has a widespread distribution throughout Italy and east towards ex-Jugoslavia. Investigations should be carred out to establish if I. sicula is distinct or not from I. pallida. Some experts of Iris claim that they are different from each other. For now, its distinction and subendemic status is favoured until documented research shows otherwise. It is reported in Sicily and smaller islands where it's occurrence is quite rare.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Rocky valley sides.
Botanical Description: Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ju [Al Bu Ga IJ LS Rm Sa Si]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (17 images)
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-0.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-1.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-2.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-3.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-4.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-5.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-6.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-7.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-8.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-9.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-10.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-11.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-12.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-13.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-14.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-15.
   Iris sicula   -   Image Code: IRSSI-16.

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Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the nomenclature section above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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