Our Native Irises: Louisiana Irises

Iris hexagona: Dixie Iris

Iris hexagona.
Note the sepal on the left side of the blossom. You can see how the deep yellow signal continues all the way down to the sepal’s base and the nectar reward. Photo by Thomas G Barnes, USDA PLANTS Database.

The Dixie iris occurs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Iris hexagona has light lavender white to rich pink to deep purple flowers and rarely occurs as a white form. The sepals are widely spreading and arching downward. The signal is a rich yellow stripe or spot on the central ridge. The petals are ascend and are smaller and narrower than the sepals. The flower is fragrant. The inflorescence is multi-flowered with two terminal flowers; arising above the leaves. The yellow-green to bright green leaves are stiff and erect, arising from shallowly rooted, branching rhizomes that can form large colonies.

Iris hexagona is commonly found growing in wet meadows, marshes and bogs.

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Iris hexagona var. hexagona: Dixie Iris

The Dixie iris occurs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Iris hexagona.
Iris hexagona var. hexagona in a typical wet meadow habitat. Notice how eye-catching the yellow signal is on this flower. Photo by Rodney Barton, North American Native Iris.

Range map of Iris hexagona var. hexagona in the United States. Green-colored states indicate where this species is found.
Range map of Iris hexagona var. hexagona.

Iris hexagona var. hexagona.
This highly colorful pink-violet colored Iris hexagona var. hexagona typifies the myriad of colors that the genus Iris exhibits. Photo by Clarence A. Rechenthin, USDA PLANTS Database.

Iris hexagona var. hexagona has light lavender white to rich pink to deep purple flowers and rarely occurs as a white form. The sepals are widely spreading and arching downward, the apex rounded. The signal is a rich yellow stripe or spot on the central ridge. The petals are ascend and are smaller and narrower than the sepals. The inflorescence is multi-flowered with two terminal flowers, arising above the leaves. The yellow-green leaves remain during and after the plant flowers; arising from shallowly rooted, branching rhizomes that can form large colonies.

Iris hexagona var. hexagona is commonly found growing in wet meadows, marshes and bogs.

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Iris hexagona var. savannarum: Savanna Iris

The savanna iris occurs in Florida.

Iris hexagona var. savannarum colony.
A beautiful display of Iris hexagona var. savannarum in full bloom. By having many flowers blooming at the same time, this iris colony is able to attract more bumblebees to its flowers. Photo © Harry Wolford.

Map of the range of Iris hexagona var. savannarum in North America.
Range map of Iris hexagona var. savannarum. Courtesy of the USDA PLANTS Database.

Iris hexagona var. savannarum has light lavender blue to deep purple flowers and rarely occurs as a white form. The sepals are widely spreading and arching downward, the apex acute, the signal is a rich yellow stripe or spot on the central ridge. The petals ascend and are smaller and narrower than the sepals. The inflorescence is multi-flowered with two terminal flowers; arising above the leaves. The bright green leaves die back after the plant flowers; arising from shallowly rooted, branching rhizomes that can form large colonies.

Iris hexagona var. savannarum.
In this image of Iris hexagona var. savannarum notice that deep yellow signal is a narrow line instead of a more rounded broader shape. Photo © Harry Wolford.

Iris hexagona var. savannarum.
A light blue color form of Iris hexagona var. savannarum. Notice how the darker colored veins direct the potential pollinator down into the flower. Photo © Harry Wolford.

Iris hexagona var. savannarum is commonly found growing in wet meadows, marshes and bogs.

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