Quick Facts

Species Type

Native

Size

3 feet tall

Habitat

Wetlands, marshes, swamps, wet meadows, shorelines, and stream banks; grows in full to partial sun

Range

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

Conservation Status

Stable

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 (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