Our Native Irises: Louisiana Irises

Iris fulva: Copper Iris

The copper iris occurs from southern Illinois, southeast Missouri and Kentucky south to Louisiana and east to Georgia.

Iris fulva.
In this small population, two color forms are present: the typical rusty orange and the atypical lemon yellow. Photo by Larry Stritch.

Map of the range of Iris fulva in North America.
Range map of Iris fulva. Courtesy of the USDA PLANTS Database.

Iris fulva has a copper-red to brick red, and sometimes a yellow flower. The sepals are widely spreading and arching downward. The signal is a faint yellow and basal. The petals are spreading and pendulous, smaller than the sepals. The inflorescence is one- to two-flowered. The bright green leaves are basally arching, arising from shallowly rooted, narrow, compact, and branching rhizomes that can form large clumps.

yellow and orange Iris fulva.
Iris fulva exhibiting a myriad of color forms in this yellow and orange combination. Photo by Larry Stritch.

red Iris fulva.
An unusual and stunning red-colored specimen of Iris fulva. Photo by Rodney Barton, North American Native Iris.

orange-red colored Iris fulva.
A beautiful orange-red color form of Iris fulva. Photo Thomas G. Barnes, University of Kentucky.

Iris fulva is commonly found growing in alluvial soils in swamps and wet meadows.

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