I was so happy to find this years version of one of my favorite wildflowers of spring, the Harlequin Blue Flag. Found on the shore of Jessica Lake, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada
Canon EOS 60D; 18-200mm lens

June 30/12

June 30/12

June 15/12

Iris versicolor L.
blue flag, iris, poison flag, larger blueflag, harlequin blueflag; Fr: clajeux, iris sauvage, fleur-de-lis, iris versicolore; Ojibway (Anishinabe): nabagashk, wiikenh, zhaabozigan
Iridaceae – Iris Family
General: A perennial forb of wet habitats with large, showy, purple flowers; plants to 1 m tall, with long narrow leaves and flowering stems arising from a thick rhizome.

Leaves: Basal, simple, smooth (glabrous), parallel-veined. Blades linear-lanceolate to sword-shaped (ensiform), stiff, ascending, to 1 m long, 0.5–3 cm wide; often purplish at the sheathing base, gradually tapering to a sharply pointed (acuminate) tip, margins entire. Leaves arranged in 2 rows (2-ranked), folded lengthwise near the base and equitant – with each leaf base folded around the next younger leaf. Flowering stems bear 1–2 leaves.

Flowers: Bisexual; flowers terminal, solitary or in a few-flowered cyme, each flower subtended by a papery bract; perianth parts united into a short tube, to 1.2 cm long, above the ovary. Sepals 3, obovate, 4–7 cm long, purple to bluish-purple, marked with white towards the base and a yellow, slightly bearded patch, each sepal heavily veined with darker purple and abruptly narrowed to a clawed base; petals 3, oblanceolate, 2–4.5 cm long, purple, erect, alternating with the sepals; stamens 3, situated above the sepals, anthers linear; ovary inferior; the style divided into 3 petal–like branches that arch over the anthers, hiding them from view; a narrow flap of stigmatic tissue is situated near the recurved end of each style branch. Flowers bloom in mid summer.

Fruit: A smooth, 3-chambered capsule, 1.5–6 cm long, green when young, turning brown. Capsules mature in August to September.

Habitat and Range: Marshes, streambanks, wet meadows and shorelines. Iris versicolor is native to northeastern North America, extending from Newfoundland and Labrador west to Manitoba. In Ontario, it occurs as far north as the Fawn River, 54� N, 89� W (Scoggan 1978
Endangered in Canada, especially in Alberta. Only a fraction of the western blue flag’s historic habitat is uncultivated. Other problems include humans trampling and picking the flowers and agricultural herbicide.

Self taught photographer enjoying retirement in travel and meeting fellow members of Redbubble.

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  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 2 years ago

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...over 2 years ago


  • Hi Tereza, thank you hon :-)

    – Vickie Emms

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL work…love the vivid colors vickie

  • thank you very much Larry

    – Vickie Emms

  • Leslie van de Ligt
    Leslie van de ...over 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous color this Iris is Sis. How wonderful you found it! Another fave :>)) Leslie

  • thank you sis. I know where they grow and was so happy to get my yearly shots

    – Vickie Emms

  • BGSPhoto
    BGSPhotoover 2 years ago

    Vickie, Excellent detail and color.

  • many thanks Bob

    – Vickie Emms

  • fortner
    fortnerover 2 years ago

    Wow ….this is a beauty Vickie !!!!

  • thank you Ray
    BTW, the flowers are in abundance around here, I hope they are for you there now. If not, come on down

    – Vickie Emms

  • CanyonWind
  • many thanks with HUGS< POPS

    – Vickie Emms

  • Dlouise
    Dlouiseover 2 years ago

    Such vivid colors Vickie,,,,great work!!

  • thank you very much D

    – Vickie Emms

  • Sandy Stewart
    Sandy Stewartover 2 years ago

    Beautiful! Love the clarity of the Blue Flag Iris, its color and detailing and how it pops from the contrasting yet complimentary soft background! The wispy green grasses add extra interest and a sense of environment. Great work Vickie! : )

  • many thanks for your kind and wonderful words Sandy. The background is the lake water

    – Vickie Emms

  • Bootiewootsy
    Bootiewootsyover 2 years ago

    Gorgeous, Vickie.. I love the way your point of view and the back ground sets it off so well.

  • thank you so very much Carol

    – Vickie Emms

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