Irises for the Wild Flower Garden
Two more iris wild flower species are included from our old wild flower compendium below. They followed the information about Blue Flag Iris in the book. A couple notes are added below. As is fairly apparent from where they are located, you can see they prefer wetlands. As the second iris is on the threatened and endangered lists in some states, we caution you again about selecting plants from the wild for your wild flower garden. Find a reputable wild flower supplier, prefereably in your local area.
In spite of the name given to another species, the SOUTHERN BLUE FLAG (I. hexagona) is really the larger one; its leaves, which are bright green, and never hoary, often equaling the stem in its height of from two to three feet. The handsome solitary flower, similar to that of the larger blue flag, nevertheless has its broad outer divisions fully an inch larger, and is seated in the axils at the top of the circular stem. The oblong, cylindric, six-angled capsule also contains two rows of seeds in each cavity. From South Carolina and Florida to Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas one finds this iris blooming in the swamps during April and May.
There are three variations of this species. The variety flexicaulis is found in Texas and Louisiana. The variety hexagona is found from Louisiana through Florida and up to South Carolina and Missouri. The last variety savannarum is found in Florida. The first two varieties are both commonly called the Dixie iris and the last is commonly called the Savanna iris.
The SLENDER BLUE FLAG (I. prismatica; I. Virginica of Gray), found growing from New Brunswick to North Carolina, but mainly near the coast, and often in the same oozy ground with the larger blue flag, may be known by its grass-like leaves, two or three of which usually branch out from the slender flexuous stem; by its solitary or two blue flowers, variegated with white and veined with yellow, that rear themselves on slender foot-stems; and by the sharply three-angled, narrow, oblong capsule, in which but one row of seeds is borne in each cavity. This is the most graceful member of a rather stiffly stately family.
This species of Iris is threatened in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Tennessee. It is endangered in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Below we have included a picture of the Slender Blue Flag iris. These plants, if provided by a reputable wild flower dealer, or any of the iris species would make wonderful additions to your wild flower garden, around a pool or some water feature, and some varieties will even do well in a rock garden. Even if you decide upon some domesticated cousins of our two wild flower species above, you will do well to include irises within your flower garden.