Blue Flag Iris – Iris versicolor

Iris versicolor literally means “colorful rainbow”, and that aptly describes the many tones found in the blue purple blooms of Blue Flag Iris that appear May – July each year.  Like all irises, the sword like leaves emerge from a thick rootstock known as a corm.  The beauty of the flowers is enjoyable, but the flower is a landing pad for pollinators that the plant needs.  My third year growing this I saw what I thought was a huge spider on one of the leaves, only to learn it was a cicada shell left behind.  We’ve also seen hummingbirds enjoying the blooms.


  • Light:  Full to Part Sun
  • Soil:  Wetland to Seasonally flooded to Evenly Moist and Rich
  • Height/Spread:  2-4 feet High and Wide


  • Deer Resistant
  • Attracts: Native Bees and Hummingbirds
  • The roots are eaten by muskrats


Although this species is currently stable, I worry that the prevalence and spread of the rhizomatic intruder phragmites australis in wetland shores will overtop this species and crowd it out of its native range.