Site Search
Customer Login
Iris versicolor (Blueflag)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Iris versicolor


Very robust, dramatic display of boldly veined, swordlike leaves with large, violet-blue flowers accented by whitish markings at the base of the sepals. Petals and sepals spread out flat making it an attractive place for feeding by hummingbirds.

Iris versicolor LP50 - 50 per flat $54.00
Add to My North Creek Nurseries Wish List


2-3 Feet


2-3 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color

Blue Violet

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-7

Blueflag Interesting Notes

Moist and wet areas provide the perfect setting for blue flag in the garden. In late spring to early summer, Iris versicolor produces stems containing several striking blue 3-4” flowers with a prominent yellow blotch on 2-3’ tall plants. Its sword-like, upright foliage is an attractive accent to the summer garden. In addition to wet conditions, blue flag grows well in average soil and filtered shade to sun. Blue flag makes an excellent focal point in a small pond or can be used in an area that is too wet for other garden plants. It combines nicely with Osmunda regalisChelone glabraOsmundastrum cinnamomeumRhexia virginica and Eupatorium perfoliatum. - Mt. Cuba Center

A waterside and shallow water plant; the only iris native to the North Country. Distinguished from the closely related, more southerly species, Iris virginica, by its cauline (stem) leaves that often exceed the flowers whereas the cauline leaves of Iris versicolor are usually shorter than or equal to the height of the flowers. Lots more...


A fine blue infusion is obtained from the flowers and this can be used as a litmus substitute to test for acids and alkalis. Some native North American Indian tribes used the root as a protection against rattlesnakes. It was believed that, so long as the root was handled occasionally to ensure the scent permeated the person and their clothes,
rattlesnakes would not bite them. Some tribes even used to chew the root and then hold rattlesnakes with their teeth and were not bitten so long as the scent persisted.

Iris versicolor Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers rich, well-drained, loamy, peaty soils in full to partial shade. Benefits from the addition of lime and rich, organic materials. Best used in flower and water gardens, edges of ponds, and areas in which
it may naturalize.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance

Additional Information

Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Moist Shade
Native to North America
Erosion Control
Moist Sun