Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake

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And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)

(Blue Flag Iris - 06) When we moved into our new home on Sleepy Hollow Lake in 1980, there were many clusters of blue flag iris growing along the 17 miles of shore line.  As more and more of the shore line was rip-rapped to prevent erosion, we began to notice a decline in the numbers of blue flag along the shore, so we transplanted a few clusters to our proprty in order to preserve their beauty.   The photos in this series are of the ones in our yard.  During late spring, several clusters can still be seen in bloom along the lake shore.
(Blue Flag Iris - 01) This top view of the blue flag iris shows the distinctive petal formation.  One stamen is in each of the three larger sections of the flower.
(Blue Flag Iris - 02) When viewed at this angle, we can see that the blue flag iris has upper smaller petals covering the lower larger petals.  It is truly one of God's exotic beauties.
(Blue Flag Iris - 03) The cell structure of the lower petal (sepal) can be seen in this photo as a dotted matrix.
(Blue Flag Iris - 04) This photo gives us a bee's eye view of the structure of the upper petal-like style and lower petal (sepal) with the inner stamen.
(Blue Flag Iris - 07) The name of the blue flag iris comes from the Greek word, iris, which means rainbow, and from the Middle English word, flagge, which means reed or rush.  This flower was the favorite of King Louis VII of France who chose it for the design of his emblem which became known as the fleur-de-lis, a corruption of "flower of Louis".
(Blue Flag Iris - 08) The blue flag iris was cultivated by the Native Americans for medicinal purposes.  The rhizomes (roots) were used as a cathartic and, when dried and powdered, were made into a poultice for sores and bruises.  God's gift of this amazing "orchid" of the north is something we should all cherish and protect.
(Blue Flag Iris - 09) We took this photo the end of May after many of the blue flag iris blooms had withered away and new flowers were still blooming.
(Blue Flag Iris - 09a) This is a closer look at some of the blue flag iris.
(Blue Flag Iris - 09b) This is another photo of the blue flag iris.
(Blue Flag Iris - 10) This is another clump of blue flag iris that is growing in the shoreline rip-rap.
(Blue Flag Iris - 10a) This is a closer look at some of the blue flag iris.
(Blue Flag Iris - 11) This is another look at some of the blue flag iris.