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This attractive plant is more typical of wetlands than true prairies, but it sometimes spreads into adjacent sunny areas that are moist. Cultivars of Iris X germanica (German Iris) have beards (numerous hairs) on their sepals, while the Blue Flag Iris is beardless. The Blue Flag Iris resembles another native species, Iris brevicaulis (Blue Marsh Iris), but this latter species has 6-angled capsules and flowering stalks that are slightly zigzag. Another native species, Iris versicolor (Northern Blue Flag), is very similar in appearance to the Blue Flag Iris, but it has a more northern distribution (the upper Great Lakes and NE USA, including northern Wisconsin). Another scientific name for the Blue Flag Iris is Iris shrevei; another common name for this species is the Southern Blue Flag.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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