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Alpine Garden Society Plant Encyclopaedia
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Iris missouriensis

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Botanical Description

A member of the same series as I. longipetala but more elegant. Leaves 3-7 mm in width, glaucous, just overtopping the flowers. Each bloom much like those of I. longipetala but with a wider range of ground colour, from pale blue and lilac to lavender or deep blue, the signal patch on the falls usually a stronger yellow, late spring to summer. North America, from British Columbia to Mexico, usually in mountain meadows, stream sides and in scrub or open pine forest. A variable species in the wild especially regarding leaf length, thickness and glaucousness, height of flowering stem and flower colour; several varietal names occur, var. pelogenus being a dwarfer form with thick leaves and shorter seed pods. In general, missouriensis tends to make a surge of growth in autumn and spring and these are the best times for transplanting and division.