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Blue Flag

Iris versicolor

Blue Flag (Bob Gutowski/Flickr)
Blue Flag (Bob Gutowski/Flickr)

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


  • Violet-blue flowers with delicate, arching petals that gradually narrow toward the center of the flower
  • Petals have purple veins and a white and yellow base
  • Flowers bloom in May-June
  • Long, grass-like leaves
  • Grows to 3 feet tall


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


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

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

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

Other Facts:

  • Attracts hummingbirds
  • Iris roots and rhizomes are extremely poisonous
  • Native American tribes used irises medicinally and to create twine

Sources and Additional Information:

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