Hooker’s Blue Flag Is a Native Iris with Late-Spring Blue Flowers

iris hookeriVirtues: We love Iris hookeri for its purplish-blue flowers that bloom atop of upright, slim stems in late spring or early summer. Long, narrow, gray-green blades of foliage create a nice backdrop for blooms.

Common name: Hooker’s blue flag; beachhead iris

Botanical name: Iris hookeri

Flowers: In late spring or early summer, large, single purplish-blue flowers, speckled in white, bloom atop willowy stems.

Foliage: Long, slim, grayish-green leaves rise from the plant’s ground-level growing point.

Habit: Iris hookeri forms a compact, upright habit, typically reaching 8 to 12 inches in height with a similar spread. It is an herbaceous perennial. Good choice for a rock garden, the front of a flower border or containers.

Season: Spring and early summer for its flowers. Foliage is attractive into fall.

Origin: This iris species is native to northeastern North America.

How to grow Iris hookeri: Beachhead iris will grow successfully in most well-drained soils; however, they thrive when planted in moist, sandy soil or well-drained loam. Grow in full to part sun with regular watering. Iris hookeri is relatively tolerant to salt spray—making it a good choice for roadside beds and borders and, of course, seaside gardens. Cut the flower stems at ground level once the blossoms have faded. USDA Zones 3–8.

Image: Andre-Phillipe D. Picard
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