I thought I might share another image from my recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This time we will meet the Dwarf Crested Iris another one my favorite wildflowers that grace the mountains of Tennessee.
Because of how lazy I can be I will just give you the info that I pulled off of Wikipedia it’s so much easier lol !!!
Iris cristata (also known as dwarf crested iris and crested iris) is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Limniris. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant, endemic to the eastern United States. It has pale lavender flowers with a white patch and orange or yellow crest. It is a close relative to Iris lacustris (Dwarf lake iris), the only other crested iris native to North America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions.
It has slender, greenish, or whitish yellow rhizomes. They are shallow rooted. They spread by sending out long stolons from multiple branches. They can have up to 2-8 cord-like branches. The branches can be 20–30 cm (8–12 in) long and 1-2mm wide. Under the rhizomes are fleshy-like roots. The branches are brown. The creeping habit can create large masses of plants over time.
It has 6-8 basal leaves, which are divided onto 2-3 proximal (close to centre) leaves and 4-5 distal (away from centre) leaves. The proximal leaves are falcate (sickle-shaped), light brown with a darker brown central mid-rib, and the distal leaves are ensiform (sword-like), green or yellowish green, with a few visible veins. They can grow up to between 7.5–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 1-2.5 cm wide. They elongate after flowering, growing up to 15–40 cm (6–16 in) long. The elongated leaves hide any seed pods produced later.
It has short stems, (almost stemless), growing up to between 2.5–4.5 cm (1–2 in) tall. The pedicel or stem, is the same length to the ovary.
It has an overall height with stem and flower reaching 7–10 cm (3–4 in) tall.
It has 2-3 cauline (on the stem), spathes (leaves of the flower bud), which are green, falcate (sickle-shaped) slightly inflated, unequal (outer leaves are shorter than the inner leaves) and 2–6 cm (1–2 in) long.
The spathes bear 1 or 2 flowers, in Spring, or early Summer, between April to May. They only flower for a short time.
The fragrant, flowers are 3–5 cm (1–2 in) in diameter, and come in shades of blue, from lavender, to lilac,to pale blue, and purple. There are occasionally white forms, and very rarely pink forms.
It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’. The spreading falls are 3–6 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide. They have a central white signal patch, which is surrounded by a purple (or dark blue,) ring, with 3 parallel orange or yellow crests (or ridges). The fall tapers towards the claw (close to the stem). The standards are erect, oblanceolate and 3–4 cm (1–2 in) long and 1–2 cm wide (narrower and shorter than the falls).
It has a filiform (thread-like), perianth tube that is 4–8 cm (2–3 in) long. This large flower tube lifts the flower above ground level.
It has a triangular, 0.6–1 cm long ovary, an oblong stigma (half the size of the falls, and 1.5 cm long, triangular crested, style branch.
After the iris has flowered, it produces an ovoid seed capsule. The capsule is 1–2 cm long, with ridged angles and triangular in cross-section. Inside the capsule, are ellipsoid, yellowish-brown seeds that are 3.2–3.5 mm across and have a white appendage that spirally wraps around the seed.
It is pronounced as (Iris) EYE-ris (cristata) kris-TAH-tah.
It has common names of dwarf crested iris, or crested iris, and lady’s calamus.
It is known as krypiris in Swedish.
The Latin specific epithet cristata is derived from ‘crista’ meaning crested or with tassel-like tips. This refers to the golden yellow crest on the sepal of the iris.
In the 1750s, the American Quaker botanist, John Bartram (1699-1777) introduced Iris crisatata to England via his correspondence friend, Mr Peter Collinson. He had sent several specimen plants across the Atlantic to him. It has been in European culture in since 1766.
It was first published and described by William Aiton in Hortus Kewensis (Hort. Kew.) Volume 1, page70 in 1789.
It was later published in Botanical Magazine (t412) in 1798, then in ‘Addisonia’ Volume 9, Issue 4 on page 63 in December 1924 with a coloured illustration, as well as in the ‘Journal of the RHS’ Volume 88 in 1963.
It was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 11 April 2000, then updated on 1 December 2004.
Iris cristata is an accepted name by the RHS.
It is found in North eastern U.S.A., within the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
In North-Central U.S.A., within the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In South eastern U.S.A., within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia,
The range is south of where the Wisconsinan glaciation spread about 11,000 years ago.
It grows in calcareous soils, in oak woodlands (or forests), on rocky hillsides, in ravines, on mountain ledges (and bluffs), and along streams.
Wow was that a mouthful !!!! Ok I will stop here enjoy the pic and I hope you didn’t read all of that info !!