Species Iris Group of North America

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Iris virginica var. shrevei

Botanical Name: Iris virginica var. shrevei (added by D. Kramb, 29-NOV-03)

Botanical Synonyms:

Iris shrevei (D. Kramb, 29-NOV-03)


Beardless, Apogon, Laevigatae (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Common Names:

Southern Blue Flag (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Chromosome Count:

2n=70 or 2n=72 (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

General Description:

Leaves are dark green, shiny or violet-purple at the base, turning gradually to olive green after a few weeks. Fans are about 6" from each other and consist from 3 to 7 leaves which are sturdy with a central rib. Leaf tips arch. Height varies from 18" to 36" and 1/2" to 3/4" width. Stalks are green or brown to blackish purple. Side branches are almost the same height as the central stem. Stalk height varies from 20" to 40". Flowers appear almost 10 days later than I. versicolor and have from 2 to 3 flowers per branch. Standards are as long or longer than the falls, generally upright but sometimes flattened, from 2" to 3" long and 1/2" to 3/4" wide. Falls are darker than standards in most plants. Falls have a bright yellow zone, sometimes extended, surrounded by a white or white-veined zone. Color is darker on the petal edge. Colors are purple, pink, and white. Falls are horizontal or slightly pendulous, 2" to 3" long, and 1 to 1.5" in width. Stylearms are shorter than standards, the same color or lighter than the standards, bordered white or lilac. Seedpods are cylindrical, three-cornered 2.5" to 4" long and 1/2" wide. The three carpels each contain one row of seeds, maturing 60 days from time of fertilization. Seed pods are too heavy for the stalks which lay on the ground still attached until mature. Seeds are round to D-shaped, light brown and corky. Husked seeds are very dark brown. Seeds germinate easily after 3 to 4 weeks of cold treatment at 32-38 deg F. Seedlings bloom the second year. Best germination occurs at 80 deg F or over. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Distinguishing Features:

Flowers are smaller and narrower than in both I. versicolor or I. virginica var. virginica. Husked (uncorked) eeds are darker brown than both I. versicolor and I. virginica var. virginica. Seeds are larger than I. versicolor, but smaller than I. virginica var. virginica. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Preferred Habitat:

Grows in ditches, marshes, and ponds. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Will not grow in salty or brackish water (unlike I. prismatica). (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)


Estimated Zone 4-9. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Native Range:

Eastern North America, the upper Mississippi River Basin, and Great Lakes region. Also found along the Atlantic coast states down through South Carolina. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Status in the Wild:

Unknown, probably common (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Commercial Availability:

Specialty water garden nurseries. Frequently available through SIGNA seed exchange. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Sources Cited:

Information added on 31-AUG-04 is taken from the SIGNA bulletin issue#60, Spring 1998, page 3117-18. Article written by Tony Huber from Laval, Canada. (D. Kramb, 31-AUG-04)

Additional Comments:


Where to buy it:

Durio Nursery

Naturally Native Nursery

Nicholls Gardens

Prairie Moon Nursery

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