Plant profile: Iris atropurpurea

Iris atropurpurea by Robbie Blackhall-Miles
Iris atropurpurea by Robbie Blackhall-Miles

Species: Iris atropurpurea

Common name: Coastal Iris

Threat status: Endangered

Country of origin: Israel

The Coastal Iris used to grow in the dunes all the way up the coast of Israel but is now only found in small pockets between the holiday resorts, golf courses and towns. It is pollinated by bees that take refuge, overnight, in its dark throated flowers. The problem is that its populations have become so fragmented, with no natural flight path for bees between them, that they are now becoming reliant on man, who pollinates them instead, to maintain the genetic variability in the species.