Beauty of It All
Our Native Irises
Our Native Irises: Blue Flag Irises
Iris tridentata: Savannah Iris
Savannah iris occurs from North Carolina to Florida on the coastal plain and in the Tennessee interior.
This view of Iris tridentata shows the much reduced petals that are barely developed in this species as is with Iris setosa. Photo by Dr. Jean Everett, College of Charleston.
Range map of Iris tridentata. Courtesy of the USDA PLANTS Database.
Iris tridentata flowers are purple-blue. The sepals are widely spreading and then arching downward with prominent dark purple veins and a white to yellow signal. The petals are greatly reduced, not exceeding the base of the sepals. The inflorescence is one-flowered, the flowering stalk taller than the attending leaves. The leaves are bright green, basal and upright, from extensively branched, wandering rhizomes, rooting at the nodes and forming loose colonies.
Iris tridentata is found growing in shaded, rich, swamps and wetlands in the coastal plain with an interior disjunct population in Tennessee.
The dark purple veins and the yellow signal of Iris tridentata serve as the nectar guides for pollinating bumblebees. Photo by Dr. Jean Everett, College of Charleston.
Iris tridentata occurs commonly in pitcher plant communities. Photo by Collette Degarady, The Nature Conservancy.
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