Calydorea is a small genus of perennial, herbaceous and bulbous plants in the iris family (Iridaceae) which is distributed in America.
The genus includes small plants, with tunicated bulbs, perfect flowers with three free stamens and tepals in white, yellow, violet or light blue colors, depending on the species.
Calydorea includes about 20 species which are distributed from Southern United States to Chile and Argentina.
Taxonomists considered that the already known genera Salpingostylis (endemic from Florida), Cardiostigma (from Mexico), Catila (from Brazil) and Itysa (from Venezuela) are not enough different from each other to justify their taxonomic segregation and, for this reason, all of them are now included in Calydorea.
The genus name is derived from the Greek words caly, meaning "sheathed", and dorea, meaning "spear".
Herbs, perennial, from tunicate, ovoid bulbs; tunic brown, dry, brittle, papery. Stems simple or branched. Leaves few, basal larger; blade pleated, linear-lanceolate. Inflorescences rhipidiate, few-flowered; spathes green, unequal, outer shorter than inner, apex usually brown, acute, dry.
Flowers short-lived, erect, actinomorphic; tepals spreading from base, distinct, blue to mauve, more or less equal. The fruit is an ovoid to oblong capsule, cartilaginous, apex truncate. Seeds many, prismatic; seed coat brown. The basic chromosome number is x = 7.
See Also: florist, florists, flower