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Iris cristata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss kris-TAY-tah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Iris cristata, commonly called dwarf crested iris, is a low-growing, rapidly spreading plant that typically grows to 3-6” tall.   It spreads quickly and forms dense colonies in optimum growing conditions. Native from Maryland to Oklahoma south to Georgia and Mississippi. When in flower, a well-developed bed can produce a spectacular drift of blue color.

Iris cristata is an example of the beautiful native species of Iris that grow in North Carolina. Most are subtly beautiful rather than the striking, large bright German or bearded iris, but are desirable in perennial and native plant gardens. It is an excellent plant for early spring bloom in a shaded area of the rock garden, perennial border or woodland garden. Its foliage forms a nice groundcover for woodland areas. May also be used as a seasonal ground cover or edger.

This plant grows best in partial to full shade, preferring rich, well-drained soil.  It grows well in forests and natural areas in native woodlands, marshes, and shallow water.  Additionally, it can be grown as a houseplant.  In order to propagate, divide plants in the fall or grow from seed.  Snails and slugs can be a significant damage problem.

More information on Iris.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#butterflies#pink#yellow#pollinators#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#spring#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#naturalize#cpp#low flammability#wildflower#perennials#fire resistant#ground cover
Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#butterflies#pink#yellow#pollinators#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#spring#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#naturalize#cpp#low flammability#wildflower#perennials#fire resistant#ground cover
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    cristata
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and bumblebees.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.  And fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Crested dwarf iris features pale blue, lilac or lavender iris flowers with gold crests on the falls. The flowers are borne on very short stems, often appearing nearly stemless. Lavender sepals have a pubescent, fluted yellow crest in the white area near the base.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Crested dwarf iris has narrow, sword-shaped, yellowish-green to medium green leaves (to 6” long) which arise from a network of branching rhizomes. Short leaves on flower stalk tend to be curved. The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR, OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Irisin, iridin, or irisine.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds