Mt Cuba Center
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Iris versicolor ‘Purple Flame’

Native Plants

Purple Flame Blue Flag

2 Photos


Iris versicolor ‘Purple Flame’ is a Mt. Cuba Center Introduction and part of the Mt. Cuba Collection™. Commonly referred to as Purple Flame blue flag, this native plant thrived in the gardens at Mt Cuba Center for decades before it was introduced in 2020. Its most outstanding ornamental feature is the striking eggplant-purple new foliage that emerges from the ground in early spring.  As the weather warms, the bold purple leaves start to fade, eventually turning back to tones of green more typical of Iris versicolor. In late spring to early summer, dark stems produce dark purple flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This adaptable perennial is at home in typical garden conditions but tolerates saturated substrates and will even thrive when the crown is planted below water level. Iris versicolor ‘Purple Flame’ creates a superb specimen and is also effective when planted en masse. Great garden companions include Asclepias incarnata, Lobelia cardinalis, Packera aurea, Caltha palustris, and Clethra alnifolia.

More Details

  • Plant Type
  • Sun/Shade Conditions
    filtered-shade, full-sun 
  • Foliage Character
  • Soil Moisture
    average, moist-to-wet 
  • Flowering Period
    early-summer, late-spring
  • Soil PH
    acidic, adaptable 
  • Flower Color
  • Summer Foliage Color
  • Fruit/Seed Color