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 (a type of plant stem with nodes that roots grow from) 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
- Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- PLANTS Profile for Iris versicolor – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Harlequin Blue Flag Iris – U.S. Forest Service
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Iris versicolor – The University of Texas at Austin