| In The Garden 107, 11: 445-448. 1982, Mathew and Baytop provide the following description, only slightly edited along with a color photograph.
"Plant 20-45 cm in height. Leaves 1.5-2.5(-3.5) cm wide,- ± straight or slightly falcate, grey-green, dying away during the winter. Stem with 2-4 branches, the lowest ones about 2-6 cm long, the upper more or less sessile. Spathes, bracts and bracteoles inflated-navicular, obtuse or rounded, almost entirely suffused purple at flowering time, 2-4.5 cm long. Flowers pale blue with the falls suffused darker blue on thelamina and veined deep blue on the claw, or pale yellow with greenish-brown veining; falls obovate, cuneate at the base, 5.2-6(-6.5) cm long, 2.8-3.5 cm wide accross the widest part of the lamina, furnished in the lower half with a median yellow beard; standards obovate with a narrow claw, 5-6(6.5) cm long, 2.5-3.3(-4) cm wide at the widest point; style branches 3-4 cm long, 1.2=1.6 cm wide, with obliquely subacute lobes c. 1 cm long. Capsule oblong, c. 5 cm long, 1.5 cm wide.""Flowering period: April-May.
Habitatat: open rocky places, on cliffs or in scrub, sometimes in sparse Cedrus or Pinus forest, 60-1,600 metres.
Distribution: north-west, west and south-west Turkey, recorded in the provinces of Sakarya, Usak, Denizli and Mugla.""_I. purpureobractea_ is so named because of the very conspicuous inflated purple spathes and bracts which subtend the flowers. It is a bearded Iris, that is it belongs to section Iris (formerly known as Section Pogoniris (Spach) Baker) and although iy is one of the taller species with a branched inflorescence it does not compare in stature and in flower size to I. germanica L. and its relatives. The most closely related species appears to be I. junonia Schott & Kotschy ex Schott (1854), a plant which occurs in the eastern Taurus mountains in Adana and Içelprovinces of Turkey. The two can be distinguished as follows:
Bracts and bracteoles inflated-navicular, obtuse or rounded, almost entirely suffused in purple at peak of flowering, 2-4.5 cm long, falls usually 5.2-6 cm long; standards usually 5-6 cm long..._I. purpureobractea_.
Bracts and bracteoles only slightly inflated, obtuse, almost entirely pale green, scarious at anthesis, c. 4 cm long; 6-7 cm long; standards 5.8-7 cm long.... I. junonia_
Iris purpureobracteata has a more westerly distribution than _I. junonia and is often to be found on volcanic rock formations, although this is not invariably so, whereas I. junonia is as far as I can ascertain confined to calcareous formations. Like I. junonia it looses its leaves completely in the winter monthes, unlike most of the taller bearded species of the I. germanica alliance, and when they do develop in spring they remain somewhat short, usually only 10-20 cm long when first developed.
As a garden plant I. purpureobractea is most attractive. The scented flowers are about 6-7.5 cm in diameter and may be a pearly-blue colour or pale yellow, both forms being conspicuously veined darker. The collection made by Professor Asuman Baytop of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Istanbul University on Honaz Dag, which has been designated as the type, is particularly pleasing in its flower colour. The icy-blue ground colour contrasts well with the dark purple bracts and the falls are strikingly dark-veined. The yellow form is somewhat less attractive being a rather dull colour with greenish-brown veining. Some populations in the wild (eg. Those from Mugla Dag and the Geyve gorge) consists of yellow-flowered forms only and are fairly uniform in their coloration while others (on Honaz Dag) consist of a mixture of blue and yellow forms."
|jpg||I. purpureobracteaJB18.jpg||manage||19 K||10 May 2018 - 22:00||Main.Betsy881||Photo by John Baumfalk|
|jpg||Iris-purpureobractea-JMyers4.jpg||manage||26 K||31 Aug 2016 - 17:21||BobPries||J. Myers photo|
|jpg||Iris-purpureobracteaBaumunk.jpg||manage||169 K||31 Aug 2016 - 17:19||BobPries||Lowell Baumunk photo|
|jpg||Iris-purpureobracteaJClark-2.jpg||manage||30 K||31 Aug 2016 - 17:20||BobPries||L. Clark photo|
|jpg||Iris-purpureobracteaJClark.jpg||manage||29 K||31 Aug 2016 - 17:20||BobPries||L. Clark photo|
|jpg||Iris-purpureobracteaMathes-3.jpg||manage||31 K||31 Aug 2016 - 17:21||BobPries||J. Myers photo|
|JPG||purpureobractea5.JPG||manage||89 K||24 Jan 2019 - 16:16||Main.TLaurin||Photo scanned from the Nyla Hughes slide collection|
|jpg||purpureobracteaLB.jpg||manage||71 K||20 May 2013 - 19:47||Main.Betsy881||Photo by Lowell Baumunk|
|jpg||purpureobractea_yellow_form_photo1_L_Ransom.jpg||manage||61 K||21 Apr 2010 - 14:58||Main.zeblouz|
|jpg||purpureobractea_yellow_form_photo2_L_Ransom.jpg||manage||59 K||21 Apr 2010 - 14:59||Main.zeblouz|
|jpg||purpureobracteata_-_yellow_form_-Baumunk.jpg||manage||43 K||09 Feb 2010 - 18:48||Main.Betsy881||Photo by Baumunk|