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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Dietes

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Iridaceae

Has a strange distribution with five species native to southern Africa (one of which has a distribution extending into East Africa) and one species found on Lord Howe Island (east of Australia). The species found on Lord Howe Island is Dietes robinsoniana and is closely related to Dietes bicolor, found in the Eastern Cape. These two species have primitive characters for the genus (Goldblatt & Manning 2000).

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Dietes bicolor

Dietes butcheriana


Dietes flavida


Dietes grandiflora

Dietes iridioides

See Flora of Zimbabwe.


  • Goldblatt, P. 1981. Systematics, phylogeny and evolution of Dietes (Iridaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 68: 132-153.

  • Goldblatt, P. 1993. Iridaceae. Flora Zambesiaca 12(4): 1-106.

  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J.C. 2000. Iridaceae. In: In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 623-638. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.