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Iris versicolor Linnaeus Blueflag iris loves swamps and wet meadows because it requires ample moisture in order to flourish. Its blue flowers attract bees and other insects; these are necessary to the formation of viable seeds, for the shape and arrangement of the petals are such as to make self pol- lination impossible. The thick root is considered poisonous, and al- though this is not fully substantiated, the foliage evidently contains a repellent, for cattle never eat it The irises derive their name from the Greek word meaning rainbow. Blueflag iris has a wide range, growing from the mountains of North Carolina northward to Newfoundland. Closely related species also occur in adjoining territory. The specimen sketched grew near Washington, District of Colum- bia.
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