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Dwarf Violet Iris Iris verna

Other Common Name(s):

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Dwarf Iris is a herbaceous, flowering, perennial native to the eastern United States. Depending on the variety, it is native to all regions of North Carolina. In native environments, it most often occurs in nutrient-poor acidic soils of open to semi-shaded woodlands. Dwarf Iris is a small, fragrant Iris with leaves that are narrower and straighter than those of Iris cristata, and blossoms that appear on short stalks in early spring before the leaves appear. Additionally the flowers lack the crested ridges that are found on the sepals and the flowers are strongly scented.

Dwarf Iris prefers sunny or shaded sites with moist, occasionally dry, acidic soil. It typically creates colonies of flowering plants from rhizomes that are deeply buried. Use this plant in the border of the native garden, but be sure to give it some afternoon protection from the sun.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests. Will do well in poor soils.

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:
#fragrant flowers#NC native#herbaceous perennials#native wildflower#flowers early spring#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:
#fragrant flowers#NC native#herbaceous perennials#native wildflower#flowers early spring#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:
    Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    New York south to Florida and west to Mississippi River.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Capsules 3-angled with single ridge at each angle, almost hidden in bases of spathes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Intensely fragrant flowers are light to deep blue or violet with a golden yellow signal. Rarely flowers are white. Flowers appear on 2 inch stalks before leaf growth begins.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Sword-shaped leaves, about 6 to 10 inches long, fairly narrow with reddish/purple base.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea. Highest concentration in rhizomes. Can be toxic to cattle if ingested.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Irisin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice