Louisiana Iris is native to the southeast U.S. and thrives in wet locations.
Flower gardeners love collecting and growing varieties of iris. The seemingly endless hybrids and cultivars of well-known types like bearded iris and Dutch iris fill catalogs, tempting us with frilled petals and spectacular colors. Louisiana Iris doesn’t seem to get as much attention, but these irises offer dozens and dozens of options, including many in the not-as-common red family.
Louisiana Iris comprises five species, known as a series, in the very large Iris family (Iridaceae). These irises are native to the Southeastern U.S., with a large concentration in Louisiana, obviously. Their natural colors range from blue to red and copper to yellow, and a variety of hybrids have been created to take advantage of these hues. Some of the most striking varieties include ‘Black Gamecock’ and ‘Red Velvet Iris’ (shown below); visit a website like Louisiana Iris Farms to see more of the dizzying array of options available.
Louisiana Iris is a wetlands plant, but it doesn’t have to be grown directly in water (though it certainly can be). It’s most important to choose an area with rich soil and keep the plants evenly moist during the first few weeks after planting. They can tolerate some dryness, but should be well-watered at least once a week throughout the growing season. Depending on the hybrid or cultivar, Louisiana Iris will grow in zones 6 – 10, but may require some winter shelter in colder areas. Be sure your irises will receive sun at least half a day for best flowering (choose morning sun when possible in hotter areas). For complete growing advice on Louisiana Iris, click here.
Louisiana Iris is so beloved that there’s an entire organization dedicated to this unique flower, the Society for Louisiana Irises. Their website offers more information than you could ever think to ask, including histories of Louisiana Iris and its growers and hybridizers, growing advice, and locations of gardens featuring these beautiful blooms. Click here to check out the site.