Our Native Irises: Pacific Coast Irises

Graphic of an iris on a rainbow circular background.

The pacific coast irises include eleven species of native irises. They occur in meadows and woodlands near the Pacific Ocean, characterized by a mild, Mediterranean climate. As a group, they are very colorful, ranging from white, creamy-white to yellow, and a myriad of shades of blue and purple from light lavender to deep purple.

These irises occur from southern California north into Washington. All eleven species and eight subspecies occur on the national forests on the west coast.

Pacific Coast Irises include:

  • Siskiyou iris (Iris bracteata)
  • yellowleaf iris (Iris chrysophylla)
  • Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana)
  • Fernald’s iris (Iris fernaldii)
  • Hartweg’s iris (Iris hartwegii ssp. hartwegii, ssp. columbianum, ssp. pinetorum, and ssp. australis)
  • Del Norte County iris (Iris innominata)
  • bowl tube iris (Iris macrosiphon)
  • Munz’s iris (Iris munzii)
  • Purdy’s iris (Iris purdyi)
  • toughleaf iris (Iris tenax ssp. tenax)
  • Klamath iris (Iris tenax ssp. klamathensis)
  • long tube iris (Iris tenuissima ssp. tenuissima and ssp. purdyiformis)

Thompson’s iris (Iris thompsonii) is not included. Both the Jepson manual project and Flora of North America treat this entity as a hybrid between the Douglas iris and Del Norte County iris.

Siskiyou Iris, Iris bracteata.
Siskiyou Iris (Iris bracteata)

Yellowleaf Iris, Iris chrysophylla.
Yellowleaf Iris (Iris chrysophylla)

Douglas Iris, Iris douglasiana.
Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)

Fernald's Iris, Iris fernaldii.
Fernald's Iris (Iris fernaldii)

Hartweg’s Iris, Iris hartwegii.
Hartweg’s Iris (Iris hartwegii)

Del Norte County Iris, Iris innominata.
Del Norte County Iris (Iris innominata)

Bowl Tube Iris, Iris macrosiphon.
Bowl Tube Iris (Iris macrosiphon)

Munz's Iris, Iris munzii.
Munz's Iris (Iris munzii)

Purdy's Iris, Iris purdyi.
Purdy's Iris (Iris purdyi)

Toughleaf Iris, Iris tenax.
Toughleaf Iris (Iris tenax)

Long Tube Iris, Iris tenuissima.
Long Tube Iris (Iris tenuissima)