Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
Northern Blue Flag is native to Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and is similar in growth habit to Southern Blue Flag. Their flowers, which are difficult to tell apart, attract hummingbirds.
Video © 2016 Mary Free
The wetland species of Southern Blue Flag* and its close relative, Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor),** grow in fresh to mildly brackish tidal marshes and wet meadows of the Mid-Atlantic, but the former is mostly found from Virginia southward to Florida. Both native irises share similar growth habits and showy flowers that attract hummingbirds.
*I. virginica is native in DC and in Prince George’s and Kent Counties in MD. In VA, it is frequent to locally common in the Coastal Plain and infrequent to rare inland. In NoVA, it is native to Fairfax and Prince William Counties. It is pictured in full form and close-up above.
**I. versicolor is native in DC, DE, MD’s Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties, mostly the eastern and northwestern counties of PA, and northward into Canada. In VA, it is infrequent to rare in the mountains, northern Piedmont, and northern Coastal Plain. In NoVA, it is native in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.