Wild Blue Iris is a clump-forming iris that is native to marshes, swamps, wet meadows, ditches and shorelines from Manitoba to Nova Scotia south to Virginia, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota. It is a marginal aquatic plant that forms a clump of narrow, arching-to-erect, sword-shaped, blue-green leaves (to 24” long and 1” wide). Flowering stalks rise from the clump to 30” tall in late spring, with each stalk producing 3-5 bluish-purple flowers (to 4″ wide) with bold purple veining. Falls (sepals) have a central yellow blotch surrounded by a white zone. Clumps spread slowly by tough, creeping rhizomes. Wild Blue Iris grows best in wet, wet mesic, and mesic soil conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and blooms approximately May, June, and July. It has deep blue to purple flowers, the foliage is sword-like, and the flowers are complex and very showy.
Wild Blue Iris may be grown in up to 2-4” of shallow standing water (muddy bottom or containers), or in moist shoreline soils or in constantly moist humusy soils of a border. Propagate by division after bloom. Wear gloves when dividing the rhizomes, which are dangerously poison to humans and animals. After fall frost, plant leaves may be trimmed back to about 1” above the crown. Plants will naturalize to form colonies in the wild.