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Iris prismatica

Iris prismatica Pursh ex Ker Gawl.

Iris carolina Radius

Iris prismatica Pursh ex Ker Gawl. var. austrina Fernald

Slender Blue Flag, Blue Flag

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyIridaceaeIris family—perennial plants that grow from bulbs—also includes crocuses, gladiolas, and the genus Moraea
GenusIrisLatin for “iris”

About plant names...

Slender blue flag is a North American native species.

Identification: These irises are found in marshes, in both fresh and salt water, and in coastal meadows. They are 12-36" (30-91 cm) high, with attractive purplish blue flowers atop long stems, 2½-4" (6.3-10 cm) in size. Leaves are thin, long, and narrow, like large grass blades.

Iris prismatica (Slender Blue Flag, Blue Flag)

Wild Iris found in Newbury, Massachusetts (USA) 01951 on Newman Road. These flowers grow on an elevated spot on the salt marsh. An entire field of these irises can be found on Scotland Road, Newbury, MA 01951: cows graze here in an elevated salt marsh field. These are beardless iris, Iris Limniris (limniris is the sub-genus). My best guesses for species are Iris prismatica (slender blue iris) or Iris versicolor (northern/harlequin blue flag), but I haven’t done a proper tax’ing. The spot on the marsh where these can be found is lower than where Phragmites australis grows and higher than where the Distichlis spicata “wrack” grows. Photo and description by Lauren Noyes.

Online References:

Iris prismatica on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Iris prismatica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Iris prismatica at Maine.gov’s Department of Conservation Maine Natural Areas Program

Iris prismatica on the USDA Plants Database

Iris prismatica on eFloras

Iris prismatica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jan 2019.

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Iris prismatica (Slender Blue Flag, Blue Flag)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm)

Iris prismatica (Slender Blue Flag, Blue Flag)

5/17/2010 · Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Hollis, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Iris prismatica (Slender Blue Flag, Blue Flag)

5/17/2010 · Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Hollis, NH
≈ 16 × 14" (40 × 36 cm) ID is uncertain


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