Species Iris Group of North America

What's An Iris? What's SIGNA? Seed Exchange
Publications* Species Database Spec-X IOTM
Upload Info
Upload Photo
Iris brevicaulis

Botanical Name: Iris brevicaulis (added by K. Covert, 06-DEC-03)

Botanical Synonyms:

Iris foliosa (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)


Hexagonae, Louisiana Iris, Apogon, Beardless Iris (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Common Names:

Zig-zag Iris (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Leafy Blue Flag (D. Kramb, 14-SEP-04)

Chromosome Count:

2n=42 (D. Kramb, 14-SEP-04)

General Description:

Blooms in shades of blue, on stems approx 12" - 18" tall. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Flowers are 3.5" to 4.5" (9-12cm) in shades of blue to blue-violet and sometimes white. form is flaring. (D. Kramb, 01-JAN-04)

Distinguishing Features:

Stems zig-zag at 45 degree angles with flowers that bloom at each axil. This species is also distinctive in that it has a yellow pubescense (rudimentary beard) on the falls. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

This is a dwarf species of the Hexagonae series, with leaves and stalks much shorter than the other species. Flowers are never above the foliage. This is also the latest blooming species of the Hexagonae series. (D. Kramb, 01-JAN-04)

Preferred Habitat:

Wetlands, ditches, streambanks, swamps, damp grasslands. Griows well in full sun to partial shade. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Found in upland locations, pastures, prairies, and bluff areas in partial to full sunlight where moisture is generally high during the growing season (fall, winter, spring). (D. Kramb, 01-JAN-04)


Estimated Zones 4-9. This is the hardiest of all Louisiana species. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Quite hardy, and offers the greatest adaptability to low temperatures. (D. Kramb, 01-JAN-04)

Native Range:

USA (LA, TX, OK, NE, MO, AR, MI, AL, FL, GA, TN, KY, IN, OH) (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Not native to Michigan (contrary to above list); native to Ontario, Canada. (Sean Zera, 17-JAN-07)

Status in the Wild:


Commercial Availability:

Specialty. Often available at water garden centers. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Sources Cited:

Most information added on 01-JAN-04 comes from the book "The Louisiana Iris: Taming of a North American Wildflower". (D. Kramb, 01-JAN-04)

Some info added 17-JAN-07 from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website. (Sean Zera, 17-JAN-07)

Additional Comments:

Seeds have a corky coating which allows them to float and thus aid in dispersal in its wet habitat. (D. Kramb, 26-DEC-03)

Where to buy it:

Durio Nursery

Iris City Gardens

SIGNA member!

Lazy S's Farm Nursery

Prairie Moon Nursery

SIGNA Seed Exchange

SIGNA member!

Wildwood Gardens

SIGNA member!


Zydeco Louisiana Iris Garden

SIGNA member!

© 1999-2020, SIGNA. Material from this database may be freely used for non-profit purposes, provided that you give proper credit to the original photographer or contributor. For-profit organizations should contact the photographer or contributor directly to request permission. SIGNA may or may not have contact information for those individuals. Number of Species: 433, Number of Photos: 2121

© 2024, SIGNA. For general inquiries about SIGNA please contact Rodney Barton. Please report technical problems to dkramb@gmail.com.
* Some important new updates were added January 2024 indicated by the asterisk in the header. Please check them out!