Species of the genus Iris (Iridaceae) have a long history of traditional medicinal use in many places of the world, and they have been previously recognized as rich sources of secondary metabolites, in which flavonoids are found predominantly. During the last decade (1999-2008) over 90 flavonoid constituents have been discovered and characterized, including 38 new compounds, from 15 species of Iris. This review elucidates the structural features of these flavonoid constituents, and gives the details of their source, identification, biological activity and chemotaxonomy significance. At last, a checklist of the flavonoid compounds in Iris by species is given.
Keywords: Iris, Iridaceae, flavonoids, glycosides, isoflavones, chemotaxonomy, biological activity
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