Gardening Magazine

Irises – Versicolor and Virginica

By Pattyhankins @PattyHankins

As regular readers of my blog know – I love irises. I’d been familiar with the dwarf irises that bloom early in the spring – and with the bearded irises – for a long time. In recent years, I’ve learned about and photographed two more species of irises - iris versicolor and iris virginica.

The versicolor irises are also known as the flag irises. They are native to North America. Here are some of the various iris versicolors I’ve photographed.

A Blue Flag Iris

Blue Flag Iris - iris versicolor

© 2009 Patty Hankins

A Northern Blue Flag Iris

Iris Versicolor - Northern Blue Flag Iris

© 2012 Patty Hankins

Harlequin Blue Flag Irises

Harlequin Blue Flag Iris - Iris versicolor

© 2012 Patty Hankins

Harlequin Blue Flag Iris - Iris versicolor

© 2012 Patty Hankins

John Wood Iris

John Wood Iris - iris versicolor

© 2012 Patty Hankins

The virginica irises are very similar to the versicolor irises. They are also commonly called flag irises – and are native to North America. Here are the two varieties of iris virginica that I’ve photographed.

Southern Blue Flag Iris - iris virginica

© 2009 Patty Hankins

Southern Blue Flag Iris - iris virginica

© 2009 Patty Hankins

Southern Wanderer Blue Flag  Iris

Southern Wanderer blue flag iris - iris virginica

 © 2012 Patty Hankins

I’m already looking forward to next spring – and wondering what other versicolor and virginica irises I can find.

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