Marcus, Joseph A.
Nemastylis geminiflora Nutt.
Prairie celestials, Celestials, Prairie pleatleaf
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
The sky-blue flowers open in late morning and curl up before 3 in the afternoon, even on overcast days. Each flower only lasts one day. Once the seed has ripened, the bulb
is renewed and the plant disappears until following spring. The bulbs colonize over time.
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. 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.
Image Gallery: 52 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Normally 6 to 12 inches, but can reach 18 inches. Flower:
Flowers 1 to 2 inches wide
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Sky blue, bloom period about 2 weeks, with each flower surviving only one day, opening in the morning and closing late afternoon.
AL , AR , KS , LA , MS , MO , OK , TN , TX Native Distribution:
Kansas and Missouri to central Texas Native Habitat:
Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Soil Description: Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Sandy, Limestone; Calcareous, Well-drained
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Wildflower meadow, Shortgrass meadow, Blooms ornamental, Ground cover
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes