Our Native Irises: Pacific Coast Irises

Iris bracteata: Siskiyou Iris

The Siskiyou iris occurs from northwestern California into southwestern Oregon in the Siskiyou mountains.

Map of the range of Iris bracteata in California.
Range map of Iris bracteata in California. Courtesy of the USDA PLANTS Database.

Map of the range of Iris bracteata in Oregon.
Range map of Iris bracteata in Oregon. Courtesy of the USDA PLANTS Database.

Iris bracteata has large golden yellow or creamy white flowers. The sepals are widely spreading and arching downward with prominent purple to reddish-brown veins. The signal is deeper yellow. The petals are the same color as the sepals but with lighter colored veins, and are upright, longer, and narrower than the sepals. The inflorescence has one to two flowers, the flowering stalk shorter than the attending leaves. The leaves are dark green on one side and yellowish-green on the other. They are upright, slightly reflexed, basal with a pink to red base, from branching rhizomes with few roots, and occur in small, compact clumps.

yellow Iris bracteata.
A yellow form of Iris bracteata, with prominent purple veins that serve has a pollinator guide. Photo © Kenneth Walker, courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

white Iris bracteata.
A creamy white color form of Iris bracteata with prominent pale purple veins and a bright yellow signal patch that guide pollinators into the flower. Photo © Ferrel, courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

Iris bracteata is found growing in sunny to shady areas in dry pine forests or in sunny in meadow openings.

yellow Iris bracteata.
Iris bracteata. Photo by John McRae, U.S. Forest Service.

meadow habitat for Iris bracteata.
An open sunny meadow habitat for Iris bracteata. Photo © Lennette, courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

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