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Herbertia lahue ssp. caerulea (Herbert) Goldblatt
Prairie nymph, Herbertia
USDA Symbol: helac
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The deep purple flowers, almost orchid-like in their exotic beauty, only appear for about two weeks in the spring, with each flower only lasting a day, opening in the morning and closing in mid-afternoon. Once it has set seed it goes dormant. Found in shortgrass areas.
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: The flowers, although quite beautiful, only last for a few hours before shriveling and the bloom period only lasts a couple of weeks.
FL , LA , MS , TX Native Distribution:
Southeastern North America from Florida to central Texas Native Habitat:
Shortgrass areas in dappled shade to full sun USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Prefers sands and clays
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TX
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Record Modified: 2009-03-08
Research By: TWC Staff