Gard. Chron., n. s. 6: 323. 1876.
Rhizomes creeping, not producing dense clumps, covered with remains of old leaves, slender to moderately thick, 0.5–0.9 cm diam.; roots fibrous. Stems simple, solid, 0.5–3 dm. Leaves: basal deciduous, blade pale green, not pink basally, 2–4.5 dm × 0.2–0.6 (–1) cm, sometimes glaucous, margins not thickened; cauline usually 1–several, spreading, sheathing for about 1/2 length, foliaceous, blade not inflated. Inflorescence units 1–2 (–3) -flowered; spathes divergent, separated by 1.5–4 cm, linear to linearlanceolate, unequal, outer 5–11 cm × 4–7 mm, inner 5–6 cm × 2–3 mm, herbaceous, apex acute. Flowers: perianth lavender, cream, or pale to deep yellow; floral-tube funnelform, 0.5–1 (–1.5) cm; sepals oblanceolate, 4–7 × 1.4–2 cm, base gradually attenuate; petals narrowly oblanceolate, 3.5–6 × 0.5–1.1 cm, widest at about 1/2 their length, base abruptly attenuate, claw 1–2 mm wide; ovary nearly cylindrical, 1–2 cm; style 1.6–3 cm, crests overlapping, obtusely angled, 0.5–1.1 cm; stigmas acutely triangular, margins entire; pedicel 0.5–2.5 cm at anthesis, lengthening to 3.5–7.5 cm at maturity. Capsules oblong-oval, 3-angled, tapering abruptly at either end, 2–3 cm. Seeds brown, irregularly D-shaped, wrinkled. 2n = 40.
Phenology: Flowering Jun.
Habitat: Yellow-pine forests on sunny or partially shaded slopes
Plants with pedicels 2.8–4.7 cm, and flowers light purple or bluish violet have been recognized as subsp. australis. Plants having a 3-flowered inflorescence unit, leaves about 1 cm wide, and pale yellow flowers with golden yellow veining have been called subsp. columbiana. Plants having both flowers open at the same time rather than consecutively, pedicels averaging only 1 cm, long narrow style arms and crests, and floral tubes 1.2–1.5 cm have been named subsp. pinetorum.
Iris hartwegii hybridizes with I. douglasiana, I. innominata, I. macrosiphon, I. munzii, I. tenax, and I. tenuissima. It is known from Butte County to Kern County.
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