Iris versicolor, Blue flag iris, is a hardy lakeshore herbacious perennial typically found in the shallow waters of pond edges, sedge meadows, marshes, along stream banks and in forested moist soil wetlands. Blue flag iris forms sword-like foliage 2-3' tall growing from thick creeping rhizomes. The elegant flowers of Blue flag iris are 2-4" across and usually light to deep blue and bloom from May to July.
Iris versicolor can be found in a marginal aquatic setting, meaning along the water’s edge. They prefer saturated soils and will tolerate flooded soils as long as their foliage is out of water. Iris versicolor spreads slowly by rhizomes in sunny to slightly shady areas forming colonies. From May through June, they provide a beautiful array of purple to lavender flowers. They are intricately designed, with petals dotted with yellow spots and purple pollinator guidelines leading to the center of the flower. Iris versicolor is more than just beauty, this plant is truly quite useful! Used for soil stabilization for stream banks and in phytoremediation restoration projects because of its ability to de-contaminate soil by absorbing and storing harmful pollutants.