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Iris versicolor
Iris versicolor

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Zone
Zones 1-9, 14-17, 28-44
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate
Toxicity
Poisonous

Iris versicolor

Blue flag
Iridaceae
Aquatic, Flowers

IRIS

A large and remarkably diverse group of 200 to 300 species, varying in flower color and form, cultural needs, and blooming periods (although the majority flower in spring or early summer). Leaves are swordlike or grasslike. Flowers (fragrant, in many kinds) are showy and complex in structure.

Iris versicolor

Looks something like Siberian iris, with 1 1/2–4-ft., grassy foliage; narrow leaves are thicker in the center but are not ribbed. Shorter-growing forms have upright leaves, but foliage of taller types may recurve gracefully. The typical wild flowers are a light violet blue, but lighter and darker forms exist; a wine red variant has been sold as ‘Kermesina’. Named selections include pink ‘Rosea’ and ‘Vernal’, as well as others with flowers in violet red. Specialty growers offer hybrids between I. versicolor and other species such as I. ensata, I. laevigata, and I. virginica. Violet-flowered ‘Gerald Darby’, a hybrid with I. virginica, has striking wine red stems.

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