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Iris verna is often confused with:
Iris cristata Spring blooms
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Iris tridentata Form
Ilex opaca Ilex opaca
Eubotrys recurva Flowers

Iris verna

Common Name(s):

Description

Dwarf Iris is native to the southeastern U.S.A. Depending on the variety, it is native to all of NC.  It occurs in nutrient-poor acidic soils of open to semi-shaded woodlands.

The leaves are narrower and straighter than those of Iris cristata, and it has rhizomes that are deeply buried. Additionally the flowers lack the crested ridges that are found on the sepals and the flowers are strongly scented. It will also grow in sunnier and drier conditions.

Use this plant in the border of the native garden. Give it some afternoon protection from the sun.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. smalliana
    Dy rocky woodlands and forests of the MTs and Piedmont
  • var. verna
    Longleaf pine sandhills, dry, rocky forests and woodlands (rare in NC Piedmont, common in the Coastal Plain)
var. smalliana, var. verna
Tags:
#NC native#native bulb#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. smalliana
    Dy rocky woodlands and forests of the MTs and Piedmont
  • var. verna
    Longleaf pine sandhills, dry, rocky forests and woodlands (rare in NC Piedmont, common in the Coastal Plain)
var. smalliana, var. verna
Tags:
#NC native#native bulb#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    verna
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern U.S.A.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Native Plant
  • 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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Description:
    Fragrant flowers are light to deep blue or violet with a golden yellow signal. Rarely flowers are white.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Sword-shaped leaves, about 6-10 inches long, fairly narrow with reddish/purple base
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses