Louisiana iris in its full glory

Louisiana irises photography

There are a number of iris species that are native to Louisiana; however, only five species are known as “The Louisianans;:” Iris brevicaulis, Iris fulva, Iris giganticaerulea, Iris hexagona and Iris nelsonii.

Iris brevicaulis and I. fulva are native to the Mississippi valley from Louisiana to Ohio, and I. giganticaerulea and I. hexagona are found along
the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Texas. Only in South Louisiana, however, do all five species occur together. You typically see them growing in damp or wet areas at the edge of swamps, in boggy areas or in roadside ditches.

These five species are closely related and will interbreed with each other, but
with no other species. The crossing, or interbreeding, of these species has resulted in the hybrid Louisiana iris cultivars we grow today. Their large, attractive flowers cover a wide range of colors, including many shades of blue, purple, red, yellow, pink, gold, brown, lavender, burgundy and white. Cultivars with bicolor flowers, bright yellow signal markings or ruffled petals add to their beauty.

This image was taken along the banks of Bayou Magazille, which forms part of the border between Assumption and St. Martin parishes. The bayou connects the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Verret south of Pierre Part, La.