Iris versicolor Northern Blue Flag Iris
Ohio Native Plant Natural Range
Cultivation Information Iris versicolor
Height - 3 ft - expands width-wise with timeFlower Color - VioletBlooms - May - JulySun - Sun - part sun
Hardy Zone -Soil - MoistFamily - Iridaceae Suitable for - Rain Gardens - Our Northern Blue Flag Iris reside in a garden that stays a tad moist, most of the year, has full sun except shade provided by: New York Ironweed, Joe-pye-weed, Queen of the Prairie and Cup Plants. Even with a significant amount of natural shade there is always an abundance of blooms and seed.
Wildlife Significance Iris versicolor
Nectar - Skippers and butterfliesInsects - Larva from numerous insects including Syrphid fly feed on Blue Flag Iris Poisonous - Mammals leave plant alone due to mild toxicity
Details - For more information on Northern Blue Flag Iris visit the Iris virginica shrevie page of the on the Illinois Wildflower website.
The Northern Iris's natural range is further north than the Iris shrevie, which is also known as the Southern Blue Flag Iris.
For detailed information visit the Illinois Wildflower site
Propagation Notes Northern Blue Flag Iris
Storage - Moist Cold - 120 days - Small Zip lock plastic bag with a few tablespoons of moistened vermiculite. Better results were noticed planting seed outdoors in the fall. Bounty of Seed - In 2020 our Blue flag Iris patch, approximately 3 ft x 4 ft produced 50 pods and hundreds of seeds. However, the correlation between a bushel basket of seed and viable seed is not liner. Fall Sowing - We had fair to poor results sowing seed in the fall, 75 seed were planted beneath potting soil and covered with wire to deter rodents. A 15% success rate at best. Lesson Learned - Sow more than you will need, cover them with a layer of soil. Wait Patiently - Seedlings wait until late into the spring before showing signs of life. Actually, they are secretly sending little roots deep down into the soil; once that work is done you will notice flat, grass like seedlings pushing their way above the surface. Use care weeding - If sowing seeds outdoors. Little Blue Flag Iris seedlings are easily mistaken for blades of grass. Near their roots you will notice a flat edge, once you have identified that, weeding is much easier. If you happen to mistakenly pull one out; gently replant and if need be lightly sprinkle. Generally, here in Ohio our soil is moist in the spring so watering isn’t necessary.