Herbertia lahue (Molina) Goldblatt
Prairie nymph, Herbertia
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
USDA Symbol: HELA6
Easy-to-grow, this shortgrass plant with exotic-looking flowers makes a miniature clump of narrow foliage to only 2 inches tall. The plants are topped from early to mid-May with dark blue-lavender flowers composed of three large oblong petals surrounding a contrasting white eye.
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Around 2 inches tall usually
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Blue or purple, darker and with white splotches at base of petals. Bloom is circa 2 weeks, with individual flowers lasting only a day, opening in the morning and closing in late afternoon.
DistributionUSA: FL , LA , MS , TX
Native Distribution: Grasslands and savannahs of southeastern North America from western Florida to Texas, inland to Central and East Texas. Separate populations in southern South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil).
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
BenefitUse Ornamental: Fruits ornamental, Forms a carpet
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
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Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1037 Collected 2007-06-08 in Liberty County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Herbertia lahue in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Herbertia lahue in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Herbertia lahue
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-03-08
Research By: TWC Staff