Blue Flag

Iris versicolor

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Found in wetlands, marshes, swamps, wet meadows, shorelines, stream banks and other wet areas. Grows in full to partial sun.

  • Range

    Grows throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, except in West Virginia.

  • Status

    Stable

Blue flag is a native perennial plant with delicate violet flowers that bloom in spring.

Appearance

Blue flag has violet-blue flowers with delicate, arching petals that gradually narrow toward the center of the flower. Its petals have purple veins and a white and yellow base. Flowers bloom May to June. Its leaves are long and grass-like. Blue flag grows to 3 feet tall.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

After blooming, flowers mature into a greenish-brown seed capsule. Seed capsules eventually split open, allowing seeds to scatter. Blue flag also reproduces asexually when underground rhizomes spread.

Did You Know?

  • Blue flag attracts bees and hummingbirds.
  • The roots and rhizomes of irises are extremely poisonous to humans and animals.
  • Native American tribes used irises medicinally. Some tribes also used the outermost fibers of the leaves to create twine.
  • Powdered iris root smells like violets and can be found in some perfumes and potpourri.

Sources and Additional Information

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Found in wetlands, marshes, swamps, wet meadows, shorelines, stream banks and other wet areas. Grows in full to partial sun.

  • Range

    Grows throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, except in West Virginia.

  • Status

    Stable