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Northern Blueflag (Iris versicolor)

Northern Blueflag (Iris versicolor)


Image: North Creek Nurseries



Iris versicolor, or the Northern Blueflag, is a 2-3' tall perennial featuring violet-blue flowers with white markings and yellow throats. Its leaves are flat, upright, and sword-shaped.  Flowers bloom in the late spring to early summer (May-June) and provide a nectar source for hummingbirds and other pollinators. Northern Blueflags also provide a carbohydrate source for aquatic rodents in its roots. It is tolerant to clay, salt, and very mosit soils, naturally occuring in wetlands, streamsides, bog gardens, etc., acting as a nutrient filter and improving water quality. It a great addition to use in retention basins and bioswales.



Plant in rich, well-drained, and loamy soils in full sun to partial shade. Northern Blueflags will thrive well with lime and rich, organic materials. It's recommended to plant in an area for the plant to naturalize in such as water gardens or moist and sunny areas.


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