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Iris fulva Ker Gawl.
Copper Iris, Red Iris
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
Synonym(s): Iris ecristata
USDA Symbol: IRFU
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Showy copper, red or orange, drooping petals and spreading sepals make up the terminal flower of this otherwise typical iris. Showy, reddish-brown flowers with 6 widely spreading, petal-like parts on a slender stalk taller than sword-like leaves. The flowering stem is up to 3 ft. high. Long, narrow leaves are bright green.
This beautiful southern iris of wet sloughs and swampy woods has distinctly flat-topped flowers compared to other irises. It can be cultivated in moist wildflower gardens.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Usually up to about 3 feet tall, rarely to 5 feet.
Flower: 2 to 3 inches.
Fruit: 2 to 3 inches.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Usually brick red to orange, occasionally yellow.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MO , MS , TN , TX
Native Distribution: S. IL & MO, s. to MS & LA, along coast to GA
Native Habitat: Freshwater marshes; stream banks; pine savannas; cypress swamps; wet pastures
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Saturated, rich soils. Normally grows in acid soils but can tolerate lime.
Conditions Comments: Leaves more likely to persist through winter if doesn't get too wet or too dry.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Popular in Southern gardens
Use Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds and bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Clump division is the usual method of increase. All native iris can be grown from seed.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Will colonize by rhizomes, so thin out if spreads too far.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1294 - 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
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Iris fulva in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Iris fulva in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Iris fulva
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: TWC Staff