Okefenokee Southern Blue Flag Iris

Southern Blue Flag Iris virginica Swamp Iris is a spring wildflower native to the southeastern United States.  Photographed in the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. March 11, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

In the spring, there are splashes of purple and blue along the canoe trails of the Okefenokee Swamp.  I have primarily found this beautiful Iris along the Suwannee River Middle Fork (red trail) where the channel is still wide, but taller trees provide some shade. The leaves protrude from the water a few feet and the beautiful purple bloom rises just above them.

According to a USDA Plant Guide, the Southern Blue Flag swamp iris, Iris virginica, is perfectly suited to the Okefenokee habitat as it prefers wet, acidic, boggy soils. It is native to the coastal plains from Virginia to Louisiana. The source also states that Seminoles may have used this plant to treat shock following an alligator bite.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46607211


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