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.