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Iris versicolor

Common Name:
Northern Blue Flag
Plant Type:
Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone:
Bloom Color:
Bloom Time:
Garden Height:
28-36 Inches
Garden Spread:
18-30 Inches
  • Blooms through summer--later than most Irises
  • Suitable for wet sites
  • Resistant to munching by animals

Iris versicolor is a wonderful native variety. It performs well throughout the season and can tolerate wet soils. In early summer, beautiful blue-purple flowers appear and will rebloom sporadically thereafter. It is both deer and rabbit resistant, but will attract hummingbirds. Native to northeastern U.S.

Uses: Bogs, Borders, Cottage Gardens, Landscapes, Mass Planting, Naturalizing, Pond Edges, Rain Gardens, Stream Banks
Critter Resistance: Deer, Rabbit
Nature Attraction: Hummingbirds
Notable Features: Cut Flower, Rebloomer, Very Cold Hardy, Native
Growth Habit: Upright, Clumping, Spreading

Homeowner Growing Tips: Grow in sun to partial shade, in acidic, moist, rich soils. In wet sites, can be submerged up to 4" deep in water. Although this species is found naturally in wet areas, it is easy to grow in the average home garden; amend with compost before planting, keep mulched, and provide supplemental watering through summer. Spreads via rhizomes and seeds; may be divided after blooming (wear gloves, as the rhizomes are poisonous). After hard frost, cut leaves down to 1".



"Iris versicolor (II)" by rtclauss is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Review (1)

  • Iris versicolor (Northern Blue Flag)

    Posted by Lynn McCurdy on Aug 10th 2021

    Very healthy plants; immediately took to (moist) site, are growing