blue flag, harlequin blue flag, northern blue flag
Etymology: Iris: named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow
Plants: erect, perennial, semi-aquatic to emergent, 2'-3' tall forb; stems equal to or slightly taller than the leaves; roots stout, sometimes partially exposed rhizomes
Leaves: sword-shaped, cross-section V-shaped, in flat, fan-shaped clusters
Flowers: blue to purple, 6-parted, 4" wide, short-stalked, either no spot or a greenish-yellow spot at the base of the sepals; inflorescence held above the leaves; blooms June-July
Fruits: 3-angled, cylindrical capsule
Habitat: full to partial sun; wet; meadows, streambanks, water less than 40" deep; in sandy, loamy soil
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 5, Wetland Indicator = OBL Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos USGS - Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center: Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS): Images of seeds, fruits, embryos, etc. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Purple Sage - Ethnobotanical Information: Detailed usage, preparation, and other helpful information Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"