Iris versicolor

Iris versicolor


Iris versicolor


Iris versicolor, commonly called northern blue flag, is a clump-forming iris that is native to marshes, swamps, wet meadows, ditches and shorelines. It is a marginal aquatic plant that forms a clump of narrow, arching-to-erect, sword-shaped, blue-green leaves. Flowering stalks rise from the clump to 30” tall in late spring, with each stalk producing 3-5 bluish-purple flowers with bold purple veining. Clumps spread slowly by tough, creeping rhizomes. Northern blue flag thrives in wetland habitats frequented by rushes and sedges. Rhizome is poisonous.



Grow in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. This iris may be grown in up to 2-4” of shallow standing water (muddy bottom or containers), or in moist shoreline soils. Propagate by division after bloom. Wear gloves when dividing the rhizomes. After fall frost, plant leaves may be trimmed back to about 1” above the crown. Will naturalize to form colonies in the wild.


Type: Herbaceous perennial

Family: Iridaceae

Zone: 3 to 9

Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet

Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet

Bloom Time: May to June

Bloom Description: Violet blue

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium to wet

Maintenance: Low

Flower: Showy

Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil

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