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18 Blue Flag Iris Facts: Bloom Time And Care Tips Revealed

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Flowers are not just pretty to look at, they are more like a ray of sunshine feeding our souls.

Iris versicolor, or the blue flag flower, is a clump-forming iris. Purple iris, poison flag, larger blue flag, harlequin blue flag, and northern blue flag iris are all names for this exquisite flower.

Iris blossoms are believed by some people to symbolize energy, with the three components symbolizing knowledge, faith, and bravery. Their name is derived from the word 'flagge' which means 'reed' or 'rush'. The southern blue flag iris has the scientific name Iris virginica.

Blue Irish is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows to a height of 4-31.5 in (10-80 cm). The roots of the plant are fibrous. Its rootlets are long, thin, and straightforward. The stem is straight, not much higher than the ground, and it has basal leaves that are more than 0.4 in (1 cm) wide.

Most of the leaves are basal, although there are one or two scattered along the stem. The sword-like leaves are about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and 12-36 in (30 cm-91 cm) long, standing straight or arching out from the base and usually purple-red at the base. Stem leaves virtually never appear above the flowers. While the seed pods grow, the blossoming stems that emerge from the base are smooth and robust, with a waxy surface.

Iris flowers are often blue to blue-violet or red-purple in color. The darker edges of the three massive petal-like things diminish toward the bottom, leaving a pale yellowish to the greenish area in the neck with visible blue-purple veins emerging from it. The sepal's upper lip is shorter and curls up like a shoehorn.

The fruit is a three-angled oblong capsule with two rows of tightly packed seeds within each cell. They are only a few inches long and broad. The seeds are huge, brown, and spherical, with a flattened form.

The plant is also known as snake lily. The northern blue flag has medicinal properties too, but there is no scientific evidence regarding the safety of its consumption by animals and humans alike. It is believed by some people to help with skin issues, liver problems, and other issues, however, not enough research has been done on this plant.

Did you know that the large blue iris replaced the Madonna lily as the provincial flower of Quebec in 1999? Well, it did. Continue reading to discover more about the northern blue flag and learn how to take care of this flower!

Blue Flag Iris Classification

Plant classification or taxonomy refers to the scientific classification of the plant. It means the placement of the plants in their hierarchical structure.

  • The binomial name of this plant is Iris versicolor. It comes from the Iridaceae family.
  • It comes from the Plantae kingdom. The subkingdom is Tracheobionta (vascular plants) and its infrakingdom is Streptophyta (land plants).
  • The superdivision of this plant is Spermatophyta (seed plants) and division is Magnoliophyta (flowering plants).
  • Its order is Liliales. The genus is Iris, and the subgenus is Limniris.

Blue Flag Iris Habitat

Flag irises are those kinds of flowers that need some special conditions in order to grow. Read on to know more specific details about the habitat of this perennial plant!

  • This species of plant can grow only in wetlands. It thrives in marshes, swamps, wet meadows, shorelines, wooded wetlands, rocky mountains, sedge meadows, marshes, and along stream banks and coasts. Sandy or loam-peaty soils are preferred by the plant.
  • This plant is found on open green sites only where it has access to full sun. It does not prefer to grow in areas that are shady as it absolutely needs sun rays. Semi-shade works fine too.
  • This invasive plant may also be cultivated in containers, gardens, and ponds with up to 4 in (10 cm) of standing water. Although it is self-seeding, you can scatter the seeds on the planting area, just make sure that each seed is 1 in (2.5 cm) apart. Its bloom time is from May to July.
  • Ample irrigation is required to help in the establishment of this flower. It withstands a wide range of soil types and pH levels but prefers soil rich in organic matter with a pH between 6.5-7.
You can find the northern blue flag flower in any kind of garden.

Native Distribution Of Blue Flag Iris

The plant Iris Versicolor can appear naturally. It is a native species in only three places in the world.

  • Blue flag's natural range extends from the northern United States to West Virginia.
  • It can be found in Canada, mainly in Newfoundland and Manitoba.
  • Blue flag is within almost all counties in New York State's eastern region.
  • It has been observed growing in every county along the Adirondack Park Blue Line.

How To Take Care Of Blue Flag Iris

Now that you know about the classification, habitat, and native distribution of Iris Versicolor, let's dive into how you are supposed to take care of this plant!

  • This plant is pretty low-maintenance. All it requires is sunshine, moisture, and rich soil. There is not much to do on your part. You may even notice wild iris growing in wetlands and along shorelines rather than in your home garden.
  • The blue flag plant may grow in moist areas of your land because it is a wetland plant. You should just make sure that the soil is rich in organic matter. Although, it can grow in any type of soil as all it needs is moisture to survive.
  • You should make sure that the plant is not in a shady area. To survive and grow, this plant needs either partial sun or full sun.
  • This iris is classified as a marginal aquatic plant, which means it grows on the water's edge rather than in deep water. It can stand in up to 6 in (15 cm) of water and can withstand being entirely immersed for a brief period of time, such as during a flood.
  • This plant can withstand dry spells as well. If required, apply a thin layer of mulch around the plant to maintain moisture, and water it thoroughly if the soil becomes dry.
  • Each spring, sprinkle some compost around it to offer nourishment for the greatest results. As it is organic, compost is an excellent fertilizer.
Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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