Iris Tenax - Oregon Iris

Iris Tenax - Oregon Iris

Image Credit: Pbjamesphoto

Common name(s): Oregon iris 

General bloom time: mid to late spring

Identification: perennial herb, often growing in a tight clump

Leaves: very slender (5 mm wide), strong, and fibrous basal leaves up to 40 cm long

Flowers: large and showy blue to purple, often lavender in color; can be white to pinkish or even yellow

Fruit: 3.5 cm long in the shape of angled capsules

Habitat: open areas with access to light (i.e. grassy meadows, fields or pastures); low to mid elevations

Ecology: Oregon Iris attracts hummingbirds.

Fun Facts:

-      Leaves were used by native people for braiding snares to capture animals as large as elk

-      Flower petals form a landing pad for flying insects enabling easy access to the desired nectar