Qualitative analysis of iron(III) salt

Why will $$\ce{Fe^3+}$$ give brown ring test?

In my textbook it was given that ferric ion gives brown ring too. I am confused, if ferric ion is already present, then what will reduce nitrate ion to nitric oxide?

• The textbook must've been implying that the complex is $\ce{ [Fe^{III}(H_2O)_5(NO^{-})]^{2+}}$, e.g. it's ferric iron that actually forms the complex. If nitrate is oxidized to nitrosyl by other means, then, yes, iron(III) will also give positive brown ring probe. – andselisk Mar 9 at 10:38