Flower of the Day: Larger Blue Flag (Iris)

Iris versicolor; Iridaceae (iris family)

Sometimes I’m so focused on seeing small, hidden, hard-to-find flowers that I miss the really big ones.  Last weekend while walking on the towpath Steve stopped me to ask “garden escapee?” while pointing at this:

20140604-DSC_0286Well, no, actually, that is a native iris: larger blue flag.  According to the USDA site, there are four other native irises found in this area: slender blue flag, Virginia iris, dwarf crested iris, and dwarf violet iris.

This iris likes to have its feel wet: you’ll see it growing in or right next to shallow bodies of water.  There’s a small marsh between the towpath and the river, between Carderock and Old Anglers’ Inn, that has a large stand them.  They grow up to three feet tall.



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