Native Plant of the Month: Oregon Iris

Picture of Oregon Iris.

Common Name: Oregon Iris

Binomial Name: Iris tenax

Soil Type: Moist to rather dry

Sunlight: Full to partial-sun

Form/Growth: Dense, compact clumps

Plant Type: Perennial bulb

Foliage: Grassy clumps of deciduous leaves

Flowering: Yes

This perennial bulb grows in grassy clumps about a foot tall in less than perfect conditions. Can tolerate a variety of areas from wild meadows and roadsides to other open areas. Usually blooming from spring to early summer this is one of the most beautiful Natives in our zone. The flowers on the Oregon Iris are most commonly a light purple color but can be found in bluish purple, pink, yellow, or white.

There are around 2 to 3 hundred varieties of Irises known in all different colors and forms with most of them containing a fragrance. The name Iris actually means rainbow in Latin which is very fitting for the range of colors they are found in. Around ten of the species of Iris are located in the Pacific Northwest and are some of the best known and widely used in gardens.