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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Iris verna

Iris verna L.

Dwarf Violet Iris, Vernal Iris, Dwarf Iris

Iridaceae (Iris Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A small, fragrant iris of Southeastern pinelands, Post Oak (Quercus stellata) woods, and coastal plains, Iris verna blooms in early spring on short stalks before its leaves start their season's growth. I. verna var. verna, of the coastal plains, has grassier foliage. Iris verna var. smalliana, found in mountainous areas, looks very similar to I. cristata.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flowers appear on 2 inch stalks before leaf growth begins. Leaves up to about 1 foot long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Violet , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Intensely fragrant. Blooms appear in early spring before leaf growth starts.


USA: AL , AR , DC , FL , GA , KY , MD , MS , NC , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Habitat: Pine forests, Post Oak woods, mountains, and coastal plains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Highly acid


Use Ornamental: Valued for subtle color in Southeastern shade gardens and woodlands.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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