Blue Flag
Iris versicolor
Liliaceae (Lily) Family

Blue Flag is also known as Harlequin Blueflag, Larger Blue Flag, 'Northern Blue Flag and Poison Flag.

Plant is an upright, smooth perennial with underground stems from which new growth emerges. Its preferred habitat is marshes, swamps, wet ditches and rich pastures. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are mostly basal, alternate on the stem, no teeth and no lobes, several times longer than broad (lance-like).

Flowers are at the end of long stalks; subtended by leaf-like bracts. Each is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The color is violet to purple, lavender or white. Dark veins arise from the flower throat. The petals are shorter than the sepals. Sepals have a yellow patch toward the base. Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

A close relative, I. brevicaulis (Zigzag or Short-stemmed Iris), has a stem that is jointed like cane and zigzags. The flowers in the lower part appear to be hidden among the leaves. Both species are easily transplanted.

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