Iris virginica L.
  • Sp. Pl.
  • Southern blue flag, iris de Virginie

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Iris virginica L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 20 Oct 2021'

General Information

Rhizomes many-branched, forming dense clumps, 2–4 cm diam., usually covered with remnants of old leaves; roots fleshy. Stems rather weak, often falling over after flowering, solid, usually 1-branched, 5–10 dm. Leaves: basal erect or often flexible, blade gray-green to bright green, buff to purplish basally, with several prominent ribs in mature leaves, linear-ensiform, 6–8 dm × 2.5–3 cm, apex acute. Inflorescence units 2–3-flowered, branch units 1–2-flowered; spathes compact, often with brown striations, ridged, unequal, outer 3–8 cm, inner 8–14 cm, firm, herbaceous. Flowers: perianth lavender to violet, rarely white; floral tube constricted above ovary, 1–2 cm; sepals spreading and arched, pale blue to purple with darker blue or purple lines, obovate to oval, 4–8.4 × 1.6–4 cm, base abruptly attenuate, claw green in median, bordered by yellow ground with blue or purple lines, yellow extending onto base of limb as finely pubescent signal patch; petals oblong-lanceolate to oblong-spatulate, 3–7 × 1–3 cm, claw greenish yellow with blue or purplish lines, apex often emarginate; ovary trigonal, 1.3–3.8 cm; style inwardly auriculate at convergences, 3–4.5 cm, crests reflexed, 0.7–2 cm; stigmas unlobed, with prominent triangular tongues, margins entire; pedicel 2.5–8 cm. Capsules ovoid, ellipsoid, or long-cylindric, trigonal or polygonal in cross section, 3–6 × 1–2 cm. Seeds in 2 rows per locule, pale brown, usually D-shaped, 5–8 mm, pitted, corky. 2n = 70, 72.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    "Plants softer than no. 9 [Iris versicolor L.]; lvs broadly linear to broadly ensiform, erect or arching; rhizomes thick, creeping, often forming extensive colonies; stem to 1 m; fls short- pediceled, 6–8 cm wide, lavender or light violet to blue-violet or purple, often dark-veined, rarely red- purple or white; sep spreading-recurved, with a bright yellow hairy blotch at the base of the blade; pet somewhat shorter than the sep; ovary 1.8–3.8 cm at anthesis; fr ovoid to ellipsoid-ovate, 4–7 cm, obtusely 3-angled, the valves strongly reflexed after dehiscence; seeds with a shallowly and irregularly pitted surface; 2n mostly = 70–72. Swamps, marshes, meadows, and ditches; coastal plain from Md. to Tex., and inland to Ont., Minn., and Okla. May–July. Var. virginica, mainly on the coastal plain, is up to 6 dm, unbranched or with a few very short branches; its frs are 4–7 cm and nearly as thick. (I. caroliniana; I. georgiana) Var. shrevei (Small) E. S. Anderson, the inland phase, is up to 1 m and more branched, usually with 1 or 2 widely spreading branches; its frs are 7–11 cm, half as thick, and the fls avg darker in shade than var. virginica. (I. shrevei)"

  • Provided by: [E].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    Southern blue flag, iris de Virginie


     Information From

    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • A Flora of North America Association
    International Union for Conservation of Nature
    IUCN 2016. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2
    • B All Rights Reserved
    International Union for Conservation of Nature v.3
    IUCN 2019. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-1.
    • C See IUCN Terms and conditions of use
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • E Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).