Iris virginica

Common Name(s): Blue flag

Native to Florida

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Blue flag is an emersed plant. These elegant natives are medium size plants, growing to four feet tall. They grow from stout underground rhizomes, and occassionally occur in swamps and marshes from the northern and central peninsula west to the central panhandle. There are seven Iris species that occur in Florida (Wunderlin,2003). Blue flag is prevalent throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada (Kartesz, 1999).

Blue flag’s large flowers make it almost unmistakable. They are pale blue to purple flowers and are the only large irises growing wild in Florida. Their leaves are narrow and swordlike, and up to 2 1/2 feet long. The leaves are pointed and flattened. They arise fan-like from a single base.