Crested and Dwarf Iris

By William T. Hathaway

Crested and Dwarf Iris

Although I have presented former articles (see 2/11/01 and 5/19/05) on dwarf irises, these comparative images may be of further value to the reader.

The Crested Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata) is an inhabitant of lowland creek edges and woodland ravines. Its root system tends to spread the leaves and flowers in colony-like patches. Since this species is mostly found in a woodland setting, the flowers appear in April-May.

The Dwarf Iris (Iris verna) inhabits open woods and roadsides, appearing as individual plants with leaves and flowers not forming spreading patches as found in the Crested Dwarf Iris. Because of its growth in open areas without woodland shade, this species flowers in March-May.