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Iris versicolor ‘Purple Flame’

Native Plants

Purple Flame Blue Flag

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Purple Flame blue flag (Iris versicolor ‘Purple Flame’) is a Mt. Cuba Center Introduction and part of the Mt. Cuba Collection™. This native iris 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 the straight species (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. Purple Flame blue flag creates a superb specimen and is also effective when planted en masse. Great garden companions include swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), golden ragwort (Packera aurea), marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), and summer sweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia). Zones 3-9. 

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