Iris virginica, Virginia Iris, Blueflag, Native Wetland Plant
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Iris virginica L.
Virginia Iris, Great Blue Flag, Southern Blue Flag
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
USDA Symbol: IRVI
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A southern wetland species occurring from Virginia to Florida and Texas, Iris virginica is 2 feet (60 cm) tall with bright green leaves that often lie on the ground or water.
Southern Blueflag is a member of the iris family (family Iridaceae) which consists of herbs growing from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms, with narrow basal leaves and showy clusters at the tips of long stalks. Flowers: usually radially symmetrical; calyx has 3 petal-like sepals; corolla has 3 petals; stamens 3. All these parts are attached at top of ovary. Leaves: simple, alternate, folded and overlapping one another at the base and aligned in two rows. Fruit: capsule. There are about 60 genera and 1,500 species, distributed in temperate and tropical regions. Among them, Iris, Freesia, Gladiolus, Bugle Lily, and Montbretia are popular ornamentals. Saffron dye is obtained from Crocus, and “essence of violets,” used in perfumes, is extracted from the rhizomes of Iris.
Fruit: Green, Brown
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: May
USA: AL , AR , DC , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from s.e. VA to TX
Native Habitat: Marshes; wet pinelands; swamps; wet meadows
Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Southern blue flag is an ideal plant for edges of ponds, lily pools or drainage ditches. I. shrevei is the northern variety of this species.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High