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Iris virginica var. shrevei (Shreve's iris)
Page, Lee

Iris virginica var. shrevei

Iris virginica L. var. shrevei (Small) E.S. Anderson

Shreve's Iris, Virginia Iris, Southern Blue Flag, Blue Flag

Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s): Iris shrevei, Iris versicolor var. blandescens, Iris versicolor var. shrevei

USDA Symbol: irvis

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The narrow, sword-shaped leaves of blueflag iris may grow 3 ft. in length. They are erect with a slight, graceful curve. The flowering stalk is occasionally branched and is topped by usually blue-violet flowers resembling those of a cultivated iris.

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

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , DC , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Ont., w. NY, w. NC & AL, w. to s. MN, s.e. NE, extreme n.e. KS & OK
Native Habitat: Marshes; swamps; meadows

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Moist to saturated soils.
Conditions Comments: Southern Blue Flag Iris prefers moist, rich soil where it forms colonies. It can also be used in bog or water gardens planted 18-24 inches apart.


Use Ornamental: Good cut flower
Warning: Some Iris species are known to be poisonous to humans and animals if eaten (especially the rhizome, or root), and it is likely that all irises contain toxins. Plant juices can cause blisters on the skin. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

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
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: NPC

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