Iris virginica

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Virginia iris
Iris virginica.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Species: I. virginica
Binomial name
Iris virginica
  • Iris caroliniana S.Watson
  • Iris convoluta Raf.
  • Iris georgiana Britton
  • Iris shrevei Small
  • Iris versicolor var. shrevei (Small) B.Boivin
  • Iris versicolor var. virginica (L.) Baker
  • Iris versicolor f. virginica (L.) Voss
  • Iris virginica var. shrevei (Small) E.S.Anderson
  • Iris virginica var. virginica (none known)
  • Limniris virginica (L.) Rodion.
  • Xiphion virginicum (L.) Alef. [1]

Iris virginica (Virginia iris) is a perennial species of flowering plant.


Virginia iris is a perennial plant. The slightly fragrant flowers (4 cm long, 7 cm across) consist of 3 horizontal sepals, or "falls", and 3 erect petals. The petals and sepals can vary in color from dark-violet to pinkish-white. The sepals have a splash of yellow to yellow-orange at the crest. Each plant has 2 to 6 flowers that bloom from April to May upon a single, erect, 30-90 cm tall stalk. The stalk is sometimes branched and has a slight zigzag appearance. The plant has 2 to 4 erect or arching, bright green, lance-shaped leaves that are flattened into one plane at the base. Leaves are 1–3 cm wide and are sometimes longer than the flower stalk. The fleshy roots (1–2 cm in diameter) are rhizomes that spread underground. Pale brown, variably shaped seeds are born in three-part fruit capsules (3–6 cm long, 1–2 cm wide).


Virginia iris is common along the coastal plain from Florida to Georgia.


The Cherokee use this plant for medicine. The root is pounded into a paste that is used as a salve for skin. An infusion made from the root is used to treat ailments of the liver, and a decoction of root is used to treat "yellowish urine".[2] Virginia iris may have been one of the iris species used by the Seminole to treat "shock following alligator-bite".[3]


  1. ^ "Iris virginica L. is an accepted name". (The Plant List). 23 March 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 41)
  3. ^ "". USDA. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of Agriculture document "PLANTS Profile for Iris virginica (Virginia iris)".