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Iris brevicaulis (Zigzag Iris)

Zigzag Iris, Iris brevipes, Iris foliosa, Iris foliosa var. boonensis, Iris mississippiensis

Iris brevicaulis, Zigzag Iris, Iris brevipes, Iris foliosa, Iris foliosa, Lavender Flowers, Bicolor Iris, Bicolor Flowers, Groundcover Iris

Considered quite hardy, Iris brevicaulis (Zigzag Iris) is a low-growing perennial with zig-zag stems bearing long, lax and arching, glossy bright green leaves, 10-20 in. long (25-50 cm). In early to mid-spring, blue-purple to pale blue-violet flowers bloom among the leaves. They are often hidden, as the stems are shorter than the leaves. Each flower features widely spreading and arching sepals with a yellow patch toward their base. Smaller than the sepals, the petals are spreading perpendicularly to slightly ascending. Commonly found growing in swamps and wet meadows of central North America, this small rhizomatous perennial performs well in regular garden soil too. Zigzag Iris is an excellent plant for partially shaded rock gardens, perennial borders, or woodland gardens. Great to use along ponds and streams.

  • Grows up to 10-12 in. tall and wide (25-30 cm). It will spread by rhizomes to form colonies.
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in medium to wet, humus-rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
  • A welcomed addition to beds and borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens, bog gardens, rain gardens, or along ponds and streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by clump division or by seed.
  • All parts may cause discomfort if ingested. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Native to central North America.

Irises: How to Grow and Care with Success


Want to learn how to grow and care for irises like a pro? Follow these simple steps and enjoy the beauty of these striking plants

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Iridaceae
Genus Iris other species
Common names Iris
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Height 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 10" - 12"
(25cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Iris virginica var. shrevei (Southern Blue Flag)
Iris latifolia (English Iris)
Iris lactea (Milky Iris)
Iris chrysographes (Gold-Marked Iris)
Iris macrosiphon (Long Tubed Iris)
Iris hexagona (Dixie Iris)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian Columbine)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage)
Saururus cernuus (Lizard Tail)
Pontederia cordata (Pickerel Weed)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Native Plant Alternatives to Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Iris)
Irises: How to Grow and Care with Success
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Iridaceae
Genus Iris other species
Common names Iris
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Height 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 10" - 12"
(25cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Iris Species
Not sure which Iris Species to pick?
Compare Now

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