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Yellow Flag Iris

Photo by Ray Curran

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Common Name: Yellow flag iris
Scientific Name: Iris pseudacorus
Origin: Europe, Asia and Africa

Description

Yellow iris is an herbaceous perennial that can grow between 3-4 ft. The broad, lance-shaped leaves are stiff and erect. The yellow, showy flowers bloom from April to June.

Habitat

Yellow iris is found along the edges of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. It grows well in freshwater wetlands and can tolerate high acidity.

Threat

This plant forms large, clonal populations that displace native species and offer nutrient-poor forage for wildlife.

Management

Caution should be used when hand-pulling this plant, as it can cause skin irritation. Digging up the root ball of individual plants can be effective. Cutting and injecting systemic herbicide into each flowering stalk can also be very effective. Native blue flag iris is a good landscaping alternative to this ornamental, wetland invader.

Regional Distribution

Common

WNY PRISM Priority

Tier 4 – Local Control

Invasive Species Priorities – Tier Chart

Pathways

Yellow flag iris was introduced to the U.S. as an ornamental plant and has been planted for erosion control. Yellow flag spreads through seeds and rhizome growth.

Yellow flag iris is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99141.html.

Native Alternatives 

Blue flag iris (Iris versicolor)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Canada lily (Lilium canadense)

Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)