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Crested Dwarf Iris - Iris cristata


Family: Iridaceae - Iris family Genus Common Name: Iris Native Status: NativeHerb
Iris cristata - Crested Dwarf Iris . Iris is a genus of 225 to 280 species worldwide, about 30 to 35 growing wild in North America. Because of the large, showy flowers and easy growing nature, they are a popular garden plant. The American Iris Society shows 1425 different Irises.

The Dwarf Crested Iris is one of the 28 native irises found in the United States. I find it to be one of the more exciting finds on any of my wildflower walks, even though it is fairly common.

Found in:
AL, AR, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MS, MO, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

Journal Articles Referencing Iris

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Iris cristata

Distribution of Iris cristata in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 Aug 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-April-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/200f/8 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv)
Purple blossom of crested dwarf iris arises on a stalk above the 4 to 8 inch tall leaves. There are 3 unmarked petals; the yellow, fluted crest is on each of the 3 beautiful sepals.
Iris cristata

Site: Big Frog Mountain, Polk County, TN Date: 2010-May-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/50f/5.6 ISO200
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
200mm (300 equiv)
Crested Dwarf Iris is usually found in colonies of several to many plants.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Iris cristata

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-April-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
There are 3 unmarked petals; the yellow, fluted crest is on each of the 3 beautiful sepals. This crest is one of the key differences between Iris cristata and Iris verna.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Iris cristata

Site: Big Frog Trail, Polk County, TN Date: 2004-May-08Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Click on the photo for a larger image
Iris cristata

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer