Species belonging to the Crocus genus are considered among the most attractive horticultural species and valuable economic plants in the world. Crocus plants are present at several locations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. However, a comprehensive study has not been conducted yet in recognition of the species in this area. In the current work we used Internal Transcribed Spacers of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITSnr) markers and morphological traits to provide information on this genus. The study revealed two new subspecies within species Crocus biflorus; Crocus biflorus subsp. penjwenii and Crocus biflorus subsp. qaradaghii. In addition, the circumscriptions of Crocus cancellatus and Crocus pallasii, as well as their subspecies ranks (haussknechtii and cancellatus) respectively, are confirmed in Iraq for the first time by using molecular means.
Keywords: Iridaceae, Crocus biflorus, Crocus cancellatus; Crocus pallasii, nrITS, plant systematics