Spring is definitely here in Central Florida, with wildflowers blooming everywhere! Roadsides are full of blue-eyed grass, fleabane, coreopsis, and toadflax, while wet areas are full of the gorgeous hues of blue flag iris (Iris virginica).
Blue flag is native to the southeastern U.S., and is easy to grow in wet sunny areas. It has lovely green blade-like foliage most of the year, and for a few weeks in spring is covered in blue flowers with yellow centers. It grows to 2-3 feet, and needs wet soil to thrive. It can actually be planted right in water, so it’s perfect for the edges of ponds and lakes, where it will naturalize and spread to create shelter for wildlife like nesting ducks.
Iris virginica is grown in zones 5 – 9, but those who live further north can grow a similar (and arguably even prettier) flag iris, Iris versicolor, in their flower gardens. This iris also likes wet soil and sunny areas, but is hardy down to zone 3. Learn more here.
Blue Flag Iris is a perfect fit in a rain garden. Learn more about how rain gardens work and how to plant one by clicking here.