Iris setosa Pall. ex Link
Beachhead Iris, Beach-head Iris, Wild Flag Iris, Alaska Iris
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
USDA Symbol: IRSE
These are vigorous plants with strong, sword-like foliage about 2 ft. in height. The iris flowers are purple-blue, usually of a very dark shade, but occasionally pale lavender and intermediate shades. Flowers are 3-6 in. wide.
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
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AK , ME
Canada: BC , NB , NL , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Far northwestern North America (Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia), mostly along the coasts, west to coastal eastern Asia as far south as Japan.
Native Habitat: Shores; meadows; marshes
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet to mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: Blooms usually occur one month after snows disappear.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Warning: Poisonous PARTS: Rhizomes (thickened roots) and rootstocks, fresh or dry. Minor skin irritation when touched, low toxicity if ingested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap. Toxic Principle: Irisin, iridin, or irisine. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed or rhizome division. Divisions should have at least one strong bud and should be taken in spring. Sow seeds when ripe. Transplant seedlings as soon as they are big enough to handle. Seedlings usually flower in the third year.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Iris setosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Iris setosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Iris setosa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2011-01-06
Research By: TWC Staff