Marsh iris – marsh pivniki (harvesting and storage)

Name: Marsh iris – swamp pivniki (harvesting and storage)

Marsh iris – Iris pseudacorus L. Ukrainian name – swamp pivniki, popular names – yellow iris, swamp cockerels, braids, snakes.


The iris family is Iridaceae.

The rhizomes are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the southern steppe regions and the highlands of the Carpathians and Crimea. It grows in swamps, along the banks of rivers, oxbow lakes, ponds, in Polesie in large numbers, less often in the Forest-Steppe, and in the steppe regions mainly in the basins of the Dnieper, Seversky Donets, Southern Bug, and not often the Dniester and Tisza. The main preparations are possible in Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv regions.

Stocks of raw materials are large (many tons can be harvested annually), but they are rapidly declining due to the drainage of wetlands.

Marsh iris is a perennial herbaceous plant. Rhizomes are short (up to 10 cm), oblique, unevenly thickened, branched, slightly segmented, from the nodes of which cord-like roots extend from below. Stems 0.6-1.5 m high, cylindrical, flattened, branched in the upper part. Branches of stems end in flowers. The leaves are broadly xiphoid, sharp, grayish-green, membranous along the edge, the lower ones are almost the same length as the stems, 1-2 cm wide, the stem ones are shorter. The flowers are large, with a simple light yellow, six-lobed within the flower bed. The fruits are multi-seeded, trihedral, oblong-oval capsules with a short nose. Blooms in June – July. The fruits ripen in August-September.

Harvest rhizomes in autumn (September-October) or early spring at the beginning of regrowth (April). They dig them with shovels, wash them in cold water, cut off the aerial parts and roots with knives. Thick rhizomes are cut lengthwise.

Dry raw materials in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or cloth and stirring occasionally. In wet weather, they are dried in dryers or ovens at a temperature of 50-60 °.

According to FS 42 No. 17-72, the raw material consists of whole or cut along rhizomes, up to 10 cm long and up to 3 cm thick, with traces of cut roots and leaves. The color is earthy brown on the outside, lilac or brownish-pink on the inside. The smell is weak. The taste is a little tart. Humidity is not higher than 12%. In raw materials, no more is allowed: rhizomes that have turned brown and darkened at a break – 5%, roots separated from rhizomes – 3, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 2 mm) – 3, organic and mineral impurities – 1% each.

Dry rhizomes are packed in bags of 25-30 kg. Store packed in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks. Storage period up to 3 years.

The rhizomes contain essential oil, tannins, iridine glycoside, organic acids. Used under the name “violet root” as an expectorant and diuretic. Included in the composition for the preparation of the mixture of M. N. Zdrenko.

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