Iris virginica


Sp. Pl. 1: 39. 1753.

Common names: Southern blue flag iris de Virginie
Synonyms: Iris caroliniana S. Watson Iris georgiana Britton Iris shrevei Small Iris virginica var. shrevei (Small) E. S. Anderson
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 390. Mentioned on page 374, 388.

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.

Phenology: Flowering May–Jun.
Habitat: Wetlands, margins of lakes and streams


V26 800-distribution-map.jpg

Ont., Que., Ala., Ark., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.


Plants of Iris virginica from the southeastern and south-central states having stems 2–3-branched and seldom falling to the ground after flowering, and with capsules long-cylindric have been recognized as var. shrevei.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Iris virginica"
Norlan C. Henderson +
Linnaeus +
Iris subsect. Laevigatae +
Southern blue flag +  and iris de Virginie +
Ont. +, Que. +, Ala. +, Ark. +, D.C. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, Ill. +, Ind. +, Iowa +, Kans. +, Ky. +, La. +, Md. +, Mich. +, Minn. +, Miss. +, Mo. +, Nebr. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, Ohio +, Okla. +, Pa. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +, Va. +, W.Va. +  and Wis. +
Wetlands, margins of lakes and streams +
Flowering May–Jun. +
Illustrated +  and Endemic +
Iris caroliniana +, Iris georgiana +, Iris shrevei +  and Iris virginica var. shrevei +
Iris virginica +
Iris (sect. Limniris) ser. Laevigatae +
species +