Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Indigenous mostly to southern Virginia, this diminutive iris is also native to Fairfax and Prince William counties as well as seven counties in Pennsylvania and Maryland and in the District of Columbia. Its colorful blooms and easy culture make it a valuable addition to a woodland garden. Spring flowers in various shades of purple form a lovely carpet.

Print Version (Legal Size): Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris)
Iris cristata, Dwarf Crested Iris, Ground Cover Height: 1⁄2–3⁄4 foot Spread: 3⁄4–1 foot Bloom Color: Blue-violet with yellow and white Characteristics Mound-forming, herbaceous perennial 5–6 inch, sword-like leaves remain green in color throughout the season and dense to the ground 21⁄2-inch flowers bloom for 1–2 weeks in April Flower colors range from blue to violet to purple with yellow crests & purple-spotted, white centers Spreads by rhizomes to form dense colonies Attributes Tolerates drought and dense shade No serious diseases but snails and slugs may be a problem; deer rarely damage Toxic if eaten and may cause rash if touched Attracts hummingbirds and bees Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained, acidic Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist If sited in full sun, needs sufficient soil moisture Excessive vegetative growth from high fertility Remove old blooms promptly after flowering Divide every 3 or 4 years after flowering Use in borders and in rock or woodland gardens Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–9 Excellent Replacement for Muscari botryoides, M. neglectum, & M. atlanticum - Grape Hyacinth Ranunculus ficaria - Lesser Celandine Vinca minor - PeriwinkleLearn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets