IRIS – BLUE FLAG

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COMMON NAME Blue Flag Iris, Southern Blue Flag, Blue Flag
BOTANICAL NAME Iris virginica
HEIGHT 4′ to 7′
WIDTH 1′ to 3′
DIOECIOUS
EVERGREEN
LIFESPAN Long-lived
PERENNIAL
COLD TOLERANCE 30° F
SOIL TYPE Moist substrate to immersed in water. Acidic to neutral. Tolerates extended flooding.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Regularly to immersed.
DROUGHT TOLERANCE Moderate, once established.
SALT TOLERANCE Low
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Part sun is best, full sun is tolerated.
FLOWER Lavender-blue veins overlay tinges of yellow and white.
MONTH OF COLOR Late Spring to early Summer
FRUIT Green capsules unripe, brown ripe. Contains several seeds. Inedible.
ALLERGENS, TOXICITY AND ANIMALS All Iris species are very toxic to animals. Physical contact can cause dermatitis.
COMMENTS This Florida native is found in marshy areas throughout the state. Aggressively spreading plant. Beautiful, complex lavender-blue flowers in the Spring. The foliage is attractive and can be enjoyed all year. Light-green, narrow-pointed leaves emerge from the ground in dense clumps. Thrives in standing water, however it will tolerate normal garden soils with regular watering. This is the most drought tolerant native Iris. Relatively pest resistant. Pollinated by insects. Propagate by dividing rhizomes from Fall to late Winter once plants have become overcrowded, and wear gloves to prevent dermatitis! To propagate by seed, collect capsules in late Summer before they split and release their seeds. Remove the seeds and store in a cool, dry place for planting in November or December. Before planting, soak seeds in water for 24 hours to soften seedcoats. Light will enhance germination, so cover seeds sparsely with the germination medium. 2 years to produce a flowering plant from seed.
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