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Iris fulva 'Lois Yellow'

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Kemper Code:  W880

Common Name: copper iris
Zone: 5 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: May - June  
Bloom Color: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Best grown in fertile, slightly acidic, consistently moist to wet soils in full sun. Tolerates part shade, particularly in the southern part of its growing range. Does well in wet clayey soils. May be grown in up to 6” of standing water. Grow in containers in water gardens. May benefit from winter protection in USDA Zone 5.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Iris fulva is native to swamps and wetlands of the deep South and of the lower Mississippi Valley from Louisiana north to southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. In Missouri, it is primarily found in bald cypress swamps, sloughs, ponds, ditches and swampy woodland areas in the southeastern corner of the State (Steyermark). It is often found growing and blooming in standing water in spring-flooded areas that typically dry up as the summer progresses. It is part of the Louisiana Iris group. Beardless, crestless irises appear in late spring atop flower scapes typically growing 2-3’ tall. Sword-shaped, linear, bright green leaves. Species flowers are terra cotta and are reportedly pollinated by hummingbirds. ‘Lois Yellow’ is a yellow-flowered cultivar of the native species.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to Iris fulva mosaic.


Water gardens, bog gardens, pond or stream margins, or moist low spots. May also be grown in borders with consistent moisture.

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