The striking bronze flowers make copper iris easy to identify. In Missouri, it is found in the southeast corner of the state. Three petals and three larger petal-like sepals form the classic "fleur-de-lis" shape. Copper iris is beardless and crestless and has a more flattened flower shape than other irises.
Copper iris was our "Native Plant of the Year" in 2014. One of four native irises in MO, it is clay tolerant and makes a great addition to rain gardens; it grows naturally in moist to wet soils. If growing in a perennial bed, make sure the soil is rich and organic. It may need to be thinned after a few seasons; it spreads via rhizome and can make a very large clump.
Companion plants: Marsh Milkweed, Rose Mallow, Golden Ragwort, Mist Flower, Palm Sedge, Sweet Coneflower
Uses: deer resistant, rain gardens, hummingbirds, clay soil
Bloom time: May
Height: 18 to 24 inches
Space: 16 to 20 inches
Sun: Full sun to medium shade
Moisture: Average to wet