Plant DetailShow Menu

Snake Lily Iris

Other Common Name(s):

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

The family Iridaceae is a very large one of perennial herbaceous herbs growing from a rhizome, corm or bulb. There are Iris varieties native throughout the world which offers a possibility of use in a native or woodland garden. They grow in mounds or drifts in rich soils, some prefer wet or marshy areas and even standing water.  Some can be grown as houseplants. Different varieties require light from full sun to full shade.  They propagate through root division or by seed.

The leaves tend to be long, strap-like and sword-shaped, overlapping at the base and oriented in one plane.  The flowers of lone to several blooms are carried at the top of a naked stem which can be as short as 3 inches in dwarf varieties to as tall as 3 feet.  The showy blooms are 6-parted with 3 often distinctly marked outer, spreading or pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards".  Iris are variously colored from blues to violets to yellows to oranges to white to even black and are prized as cut flowers in the perennial garden. The seeds are carried in a fruit capsule, but the division of rhizome or root is the best propagation method and to prevent overcrowding.  Some varieties require rhizomes to be at soil level, while others tolerate planting corms and bulbs deeper in the soil.

In general, Iris are deer and rabbit resistant. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Petaloid style overlapping petaloid sepals.
  • Basil leaves are commonly fan-shaped.
  • Leaves are 2-ranked and often flat.

To learn more about individual species, see the boxes below.

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Poolside Garden Shaded Patio Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
I. brevicaulis, I. cristata, I. domestica, I. ensata, I. germanica, I. hexagona, I. hollandica, I. latifolia, I. louisiana 'Black Gamecock', I. reticulata, I. tectorum, I. versicolor, I. virginica
Tags:
#purple#white#bulb#poisonous#small spaces#white flowers#container plant#purple flowers#pink flowers#corm#yellow flowers#orange flowers#interiorscape#spring flowers#rabbit resistant#cpp#deer resistant#rhizomes#large flowers#houseplants#naturalizes#borders#cutting garden#black flowers#border front#walkways#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
I. brevicaulis, I. cristata, I. domestica, I. ensata, I. germanica, I. hexagona, I. hollandica, I. latifolia, I. louisiana 'Black Gamecock', I. reticulata, I. tectorum, I. versicolor, I. virginica
Tags:
#purple#white#bulb#poisonous#small spaces#white flowers#container plant#purple flowers#pink flowers#corm#yellow flowers#orange flowers#interiorscape#spring flowers#rabbit resistant#cpp#deer resistant#rhizomes#large flowers#houseplants#naturalizes#borders#cutting garden#black flowers#border front#walkways#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North temperate America, Europe, Asia
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer and rabbit resistant (in general)
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-several flowers at the top of a naked stem in bracteated heads. Perianth tubular with 6-parted segments with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" that are narrowed basally into a haft, are spreading to deflexed above, are bearded or with colored trichomes or crest, or are lacking these traits often with basal medial color patch. 3 inner, erect "standards", variously colored, clawed, and reduced. Stamens 3, styles 3, petaloid, overarching falls.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Strap-like, overlapping at base, oriented in one plane. Leaves are 2-ranked, linear to ensiform, flat or tetragonal. Basal leaves are commonly in fans. Cauline leaves are sheathing or in an apical tuft.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • 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, salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, diarrhea, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap. Highest concentration in rhizomes
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Pentacylic terpenoids (zeorin, missourin and missouriensin), Irisin, iridin, or irisine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds