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Iris virginica (Virginia iris) | NPIN
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Iris virginica (Virginia iris)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Iris virginica

Iris virginica L.

Virginia iris, Great Blue Flag, Southern blueflag

Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s):

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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit: Green, Brown
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: May

Distribution

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
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from s.e. VA to TX
Native Habitat: Marshes; wet pinelands; swamps; wet meadows

Growing Conditions

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.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: High

Propagation

Description: Clump division is the usual method of increase. Divide in early fall when the leaves begin to turn yellow. Keep stringy roots attached to the stubby rhizome sections. If propagation is to made by seed, sow immediately in an outdoor seed bed. Seedlings
Seed Collection: Storage of iris seed greatly reduces viability.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Iris virginica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Iris virginica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Iris virginica

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-06-15
Research By: NPC

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