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

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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