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Native alternative(s) for Iris versicolor:
Iris virginica Iris virginica
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Iris virginica Iris virginica
Iris hexagona Iris hexagona
Hibiscus moscheutos Hibiscus moscheutos

Iris versicolor

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss VER-suh-kuh-lor
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Iris versicolor, commonly known as the larger blue flag iris, is an herbaceous herb that reaches 2 to 2.5 feet tall. It prefers to grow in rich, moist soils and is happy in wet areas of pond margins, wet meadows, and marshy areas where it multiplies naturally forming clumps.  It can also be grown in containers in ponds in up to 4 inches of standing water.  The larger blue flag iris is native to Canada and the United States spanning south from Nova Scotia into the middle and northeastern United States to Virginia.  Blue flag iris thrives in full sun and tolerates partial shade where it forms a mass of blue lavender to white blooms. The blooms are formed of three upright inner standards and three distinctly marked sepals or falls.  The large 4-inch flowers bloom in late spring to early summer with several (3-5) on a naked stalk of up to 30 inches.  They are variably colored blue to lavender and purple with yellow splotches, white markings and striking veining on the falls.  The leaves are narrow and strap-like 1 inch wide and up to 24 inches long crossing at the base to be fan-like.  Though the fruit forms as a capsule, this plant propagates best by division of the rhizomes after blooms fade.

It’s specific epithet, versicolor, is derived from this plant's ability to produce many-colored blooms while the common name, "flag", comes from an old English word (flagge) for reeds and refers to its natural preference to wetlands.

More information on Iris.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#water garden#purple flowers#wildflowers#blue flowers#wetlands#pond margins#cpp#swamps#ponds#marshes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#water garden#purple flowers#wildflowers#blue flowers#wetlands#pond margins#cpp#swamps#ponds#marshes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    versicolor
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern Canada to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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 Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-several at the top of a naked stem, 6-parted with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards", variously colored
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    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