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-
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