Habit: this clump forming iris growing from thick, spreading rhizomes has grass like leaves that can be evergreen and large, showy, terminal flowers. Upright petals and spreading sepals range in color from light purple to dark violet, in the center of the sepals is a whitish yellow patch signaling pollinators. Fruit is a capsule with dark brown seeds. Blooms May to early July.
Ecology: found in moist locations near streambanks, in bogs, and wet meadows. Native to the Western United States at elevations from 3000-11,000 ft (900-3400 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, moist in the winter, does not require extra water in the summer after established. Tolerates seasonal flooding.
Roots are toxic, and because of the fibrous, unpalatable leaves, can be considered a weed when found growing in pastures used for grazing animals. The beautiful flowers attract both insects and hummingbirds.