Reaching about three feet, Southern Blue Flag thrives in prairie conditions in wet to moist soils. Large elegant blue flowers appear in May and are fragrant. Pollinated by primarily bees, this species does not have a fuzzy beard like other iris. It may colonize an area in optimum conditions.
The flowers are cross-pollinated by bumblebees and long-horned bees; butterflies and skippers also visit the flowers occasionally, but they are less effective at cross-pollination. The plant is a larval host to moths such as the Virginia Ctenucha, Agreeable Tiger Moth, and Iris Borer Moth. Mammals rarely bother this plant because the foliage and rootstocks are somewhat toxic, causing irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Soil Type: Clay/Loam/Sand
Soil Conditions: Wet-Mesic
Flower Color: Blue
Light: Full to part sun
Credits: Info courtesy of Pizzo Native Nursery and illinoiswildflowers.info; Photo courtesy of Illinoiswildflowers.info