Species Iris Group of North America

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Iris hartwegii

Botanical Name: Iris hartwegii (added by D. Kramb, 09-NOV-03)

Botanical Synonyms:



Pacific Coast Native, Californicae (D. Kramb, 09-NOV-03)

Common Names:

Sierra Iris, Hartweg's Iris (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Chromosome Count:

2n=40 according to the SIGNA Checklist of Iris Species (D. Kramb, 21-SEP-04)

General Description:

4"-12" (10-30cm) tall, with flowers pale yellow, deep yellow, or lavender (D. Kramb, 09-NOV-03)

Light cream to bright yellow, less commonly lavender. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Distinguishing Features:

Floral tube stout and short (less than 1 inch). Spathes spreading, attached at separate locations on stem; ovary exposed. Plants individual - "clumps" are actually many single plants grown up where a bunch of seeds fell. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Preferred Habitat:

Sunny, open or partially shaded sites in mixed or yellow pine woodlands. In forested regions it is often found along streams, roadways and cut-over areas. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)



Native Range:

USA (CA) (D. Kramb, 09-NOV-03)

Fairly common above the foothills in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains between Kern and Plumas counties, California. 2,000 to 7,000 feet elevation. A disjunct population lives in the San Bernardino Mountains in southern California. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Its altitudinal and geographic range separate I. hartwegii from all the other PCNIs except the long-tubed I. macrosiphon in the western Sierras' upper foothills. You can find I. missouriensis in moist, sunny meadows at even higher elevations on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, and west of the Cascades in areas outside the northern range of the PCNIs. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Status in the Wild:


Commercial Availability:


Sources Cited:

Information entered on 06-JAN-04 comes from the Pacific Coast Native Iris club website. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Additional Comments:

Http://www.pacificcoastiris.org/ (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Three distinctive regional populations have been given their own names: I. hartwegii australis - an isolated, lavender-flowered race in the San Bernardino Mountains between 5,000 and 7,000 feet elevation; I. hartwegii pinetorum - a Plumas County population in which two smaller, creamy yellow flowers tend to open at the same time on each stem; and I. hartwegii columbiana - with cream colored flowers and shiny, broader leaves (around inch) found near Columbia in Tuolumne County. The "Tuolumne iris" is listed as rare or endangered by the California Native Plant Society. (D. Kramb, 06-JAN-04)

Where to buy it:

Fraser's Thimble Farms

Oregon Native Plant Nursery

Pacific Rim Native Plant Nursery

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