|Monday Melange: Blueflag Iris|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 23 July 2012|
Blueflag iris (Iris versicolor) is an easy to grow perennial and native aquatic plant. Classified as an emergent wetland plant, blueflag iris grows in shallow water at depths up to 6 inches along the shores of lakes and larger ponds. It prefers full sun and rich organic soils.
The pale to deep bluish-purple flowers with yellow to white markings grow on erect stems, two to three per stem. Blooming from May to July, they showy flowers contrast nicely with the rich green color of the narrow sword-shaped leaves. Blueflag iris typically grows 2 to 3 feet tall and is commonly found in the moist soils of marshes, wet meadows, and forested wetlands.
Blueflag iris is hardy to USDA zone 2 (-50 F), growing across Canada from Newfoundland to Manitoba and as far south as Florida and Arkansas, although it tends to prefer a more northern climate. Blueflag iris spreads by creeping rhizomes, generally less than 2 feet per year and making it a good candidate for an aquatic garden or a bog garden.
Sometimes referred to as Harlequin Blueflag, water iris, or Fleur-de-lis, the blueflag iris is the official symbol of the province of Quebec, Canada. The rhizomes are poisonous to humans but a favored food of muskrats.
Photo source: www.ontariowildflower.com/lakeedge.htm