Copper iris is a  rhizomatous perennial and a member of the iris family, Iridaceae, that also includes crocus, gladiolus, and freesia.  It is native to southern and central US from Illinois and Missouri, south to Georgia and Texas where it grows in wet areas such as marshes, swamps, roadside ditches, and drainage canals. Plants typically stand in 6 inches of water but since the draining of wetlands has resulted in habit destruction the iris is considered endangered in some states.  Plants grow 2-3′ tall and have sword-shaped, bright green, 2-3′ long leaves that arch away from the base.  In late spring 2-3′ long stems with 1-2 branches carry 4-6 flowers each.  The lightly fragrant flowers range in color from coppery-red to deep red and bronze and have wide spread petals and sepals.  Although each flower only lasts a few days, the plants remain in bloom for about 2 weeks. Copper iris is an excellent choice for a rain garden or water garden.  The genus name, Iris, is the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow and refers to the many colors of iris flowers.  the specific epithet, fulva, comes from the Latin word fulvus, meaning reddish, yellow or tawny and refers to the color of the flowers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Copper to  deep red and bronze flowers in late spring

Size:2-3′ H x 1-2′ W

Light:Sun to part shade

Soil:Average,medium moist to wet

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care:Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases:None of significance

Propagation: Division

Companion Plants:Swamp azalea, cinnamon fern, blue vervain (Verbena hastata), marsh marigold

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen