Our Native Irises: Pacific Coast Irises

Iris macrosiphon: Bowl Tube Iris (Ground Iris)

The bowl tube iris occurs in the northern half of California.

Iris macrosiphon.
This color form of the bowl tube iris has a white signal patch highlighted with dark violet veins directing the pollinator down into the flower. Photo courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

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

Iris macrosiphon flowers are a myriad of colors (almost any color found in any of the Pacific coast irises) ranging from deep indigo blue to violet to lavender, creamy white or yellow. The sepals are moderately upright and then arching downward with prominent veins, a deeper color of the sepals color. The petals are upright and slightly spreading, shorter and narrower than the sepals, similar in coloration. The inflorescence has (one) two flowers. The flowering stalk is much shorter (almost stalk-less to 11-inches) than the attending leaves. The leaves are green to dark green, upright to slightly spreading, and basal with a white base, from branching rhizomes with a few fibrous roots occurring as individuals or small clumps.

Iris macrosiphon.
A beautiful lavender pink flower of a bowl tube iris greets a lucky hiker in a sunny opening in a oak-pine woodland. Notice the pine straw on the ground surrounding this native iris. Photo courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

Iris macrosiphon.
The diversity of color within the pacific coast irises is spectacular. Here we have yet another color form, pale yellow, of the bowl tube iris. Photo courtesy Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris.

Iris macrosiphon is found growing in sunny openings and meadows.

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