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Louisiana Iris Iris hexagona

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss hek-sa-GON-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This very rare iris is found in a range of South Carolina to Florida and Louisiana giving it the common names of Dixie Iris and Louisiana Iris.  It prefers wet, shallow, sunny areas such as marshes, ditches, swamps, and streams or riversides of the coastal areas.  It can grow in several inches of water; bog gardens and pond gardens are good options.  However, it requires a heavy application of mulch in other garden locations and can tolerate some shade.  It is subject to the fungal, bacterial and iris borer difficulties of the Iris family so the bed should be kept clean of old leaves and debris. 

This herbaceous perennial is 3-4 feet tall and spreads 1-1.5 feet with the typical lanceolate leaf up to 3 feet long.  But, the leaves die back after the early spring bloom and reappear at fall for the next season.  The flowers are more similar to I. hollandica than I. germanica in that the flowers on tall 1-3 foot stems are delicate and crisp with the three standards being narrower and shorter over the three widespread falls.  They are blue to lavender and sometimes white, with yellow signals rather than beards.  The seed pod is hexagonal, but the preferred method of propagation is through the division of the rhizomes planted shallowly.  The rhizomes can spread easily making it good for naturalizing.  

More information on Iris.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. hexagona
    Lavender to pink flower
  • var. savannarum
    Light blue to lavender flower
Tags:
#full sun#water garden#rain garden#white flowers#purple flowers#blue flowers#wet sites#stream banks#cpp#forest#ponds#tall#woodland#naturalizes#wildflower garden#marshes#rare
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. hexagona
    Lavender to pink flower
  • var. savannarum
    Light blue to lavender flower
Tags:
#full sun#water garden#rain garden#white flowers#purple flowers#blue flowers#wet sites#stream banks#cpp#forest#ponds#tall#woodland#naturalizes#wildflower garden#marshes#rare
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    hexagona
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Rhizomes used in perfumes
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern South Carolina to N. Florida
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MO , MS , SC , TX
    Wildlife Value:
    Mildly resistant to deer
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Six-sided capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Delicate 3" flowers with 3 short, upright standards, 3 spreading, pendant falls, and yellow signals.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Knife-like, narrow, to 3 feet long and 1.25 inches wide basal leaves that arise from rhizomes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    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