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Short-stemmed Iris Iris brevicaulis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss brev-ee-KAW-liss
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This low growing iris is in a family of perennial herbs.  Its strap-like leaves rise from rhizomes in a flat plane overlapping at the base which may hide the flowers.  The one to several blooms emerge from the top of a naked stem which zig-zags for up to 5 inches, giving the iris one of its common names, Zigzag Iris.  The showy flowers are formed as 6-parted, with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards", and are bluish-purple to white with a yellow and white crest on the reflexed falls.  Bloom time is June, though they are not produced each year.  The fruit is a capsule.  It spreads by the division of its bulb or rhizome.  This is a marsh plant suited to damp grasslands or stream banks of humus and rich acidic soil,  but it can grow in average, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.  

Although sporadically native to the Central United States, it is not native to the Southeastern coastal states.

 

More information on Iris.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#poisonous#partial shade#low growing#white flowers#acidic soil#purple flowers#blue flowers#stream banks#cpp#large flowers#woodland#naturalizes#cutting garden#border front#wet soils tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#poisonous#partial shade#low growing#white flowers#acidic soil#purple flowers#blue flowers#stream banks#cpp#large flowers#woodland#naturalizes#cutting garden#border front#wet soils tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    brevicaulis
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Forest, woodlands, or natural area,
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Ontario to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Large, deep, bluish-purple flowers with yellow and white crests on the reflexed falls
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, lethargy, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap. Highest concentration in rhizomes
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Pentacylic terpenoids (zeorin, missourin and missouriensin), Irisin, iridin, or irisine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots