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Iris versicolor: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iris versicolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Species: I. versicolor
Binomial name
Iris versicolor

Iris versicolor, also commonly known as the Harlequin Blueflag, the Larger Blue Flag, and other variations of those names, is a species of Iris native to North America where it is common in sedge meadows, marshes, and along streambanks and shores.


I. versicolor is a perennial herb, growing 10-80 centimeters high. This iris tends to form large clumps from thick, creeping rhizomes. The unwinged, erect stems generally have basal leaves that are more than 1 cm wide. Leaves are folded on the midribs so that they form an overlapping flat fan. The well developed blue flower has 6 petals and sepals spread out nearly flat and have two forms. The longer sepals are hairless and have a greenish-yellow blotch at their base. The inferior ovary is bluntly angled. Flowers are usually light to deep blue (purple and violet are not uncommon) and bloom during May to July. Fruit is a 3-celled, bluntly angled capsule. The large seeds can be observed floating in fall.

The blue flag is the provincial flower of Quebec, having replaced the Madonna lily which is not native to the province.

Chemical constituents

The species has been implicated in several poisoning cases of humans and animals who consumed the rhizomes, which have been found to contain a glycoside, iridin. The sap can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.


  1. USGS. Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin
  2. (French) Gouvernement du Québec Emblèmes du Québec - Iris versicolor


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Iris versicolor


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales
Familia: Iridaceae
Subfamilia: Iridoideae
Tribus: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris subg. Limniris
Sectio: I. sect. Limniris
Species: Iris versicolor


Iris versicolor L.


  • Species Plantarum 1:39. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Blaue Sumpf-Schwertlilie
English: Harlequin Blueflag, Larger Blue Flag
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Iris versicolor on Wikimedia Commons.


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