Iris versicolor (Blue flag iris)
Blue flag iris Description:
Iris versicolor, commonly known as blue flag iris, is a perennial flowering plant that is native to North America. It belongs to the family Iridaceae and can grow up to 1-3 feet in height with a spread of 1-2 feet. The plant has long, sword-shaped leaves that are arranged in a fan-like pattern, and its roots are rhizomatous.
The blue flag iris produces showy flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. The flowers are typically blue-violet, but can also be pink or white in color, and have three large petals known as standards, and three smaller petals known as falls. The blooms are typically 3-4 inches wide and are arranged in clusters atop tall, sturdy stems.
This plant prefers growing in full sun to partial shade and moist, acidic soils, making it a great choice for rain gardens, pond margins, or wet meadows. It is also a popular choice for landscaping and is commonly used in border plantings, mass plantings, and rock gardens.
In addition to its ornamental value, Iris versicolor has been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous people. Its rhizomes and roots have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including rheumatism, diarrhea, and skin disorders. However, it should be noted that it is not recommended to use this plant for medicinal purposes without proper consultation with a healthcare professional.
Blue flag iris is found across many parts of Minnesota, however, it is more concentrated in the Northeastern portions of the state. More broadly, Blue flag iris is found mostly in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Northeastern United States.
Standard Plant Information:
Plant Height: 1' - 3'
Bloom Time: May - August
Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun. Often found in wet meadows, marshes, and along shorelines.
Stratification: C120, M