From late March until early May the Dwarf Iris (Iris verna) may appear in an open woods setting or along the edges of sandy, rocky woodlands. Occasionally the Dwarf Iris can be seen flowering on sterile acid soil that is fairly common on rural roadsides. If one is driving at a relatively fast speed, the little Dwarf Iris may appear as just another cluster of purple violets.
On close examination the large orange-yellow splash of color on the sepals serves to distinguish this species from the Crested Dwarf Iris (see a comparison) found on rich woodland slopes and along the edges of forested creek banks.
Copyright © 2005 William T. Hathaway.