Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Slender Blue Iris
Iris prismatica Pursh
- Family: Iris (Iridaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this iris are the leaves on the flowering stem that
are only about 1/3 inch wide.
- Habitat: Brackish or freshwater marshes, wet meadows.
- Habit: Perennial herb from rhizomes and stolons.
- Stems: Underground except for the flowering stems, the flowering stems terete, smooth, very slender, to 2 1/2 feet tall, with the remains of fibrous old leaves at the base.
- Leaves: Those from the stolons in reddish-based tufts, each leaf up to 1/4 inch wide, those on the flowering stem erect, up to 1/3 inch wide.
- Flowers: 1-few, blue to violet, up to 3 1/2 inches across, borne on pedicels longer than the bracts.
- Sepals: 3, spreading or turned downward, with dark purple veins and greenish at the base.
- Petals: 3, erect, obovate, purple or violet.
- Stamens: 3, attached to the base of the sepals.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior; styles petal-like, arching over the stamens.
- Fruits: Capsules narrowly oblongoid, beaked at the tip, up to 3 inches long.
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