Iris versicolor, Blue Flag

Iris versicolor
photos by Dennis Kalma

Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Iris versicolor L.
Blue Flag
Iridaceae (irises)

Plant: 30-90 cm tall; flowering in spring; often grows in small discrete clumps

Flower: blue, with white and yellow areas with dark veining and spots on the "fall" sepals; 3 parted; up to 10 cm wide; erect flower stalk

Leaves: alternate, simple; although the leaves appear at first to be basal, closer inspection shows them to be alternate; parallel veined

Habitat: marshes, wet meadows

Similar Species: Iris versicolor is our only iris with blue flowers. After flowering it can be distinguished from Iris pseudacorus, Yellow Flag, by its shorter, narrower leaves and by its tendency to grow in small discrete clumps rather than in large patches.

    Iris versicolor - range map
Flora of North America