Copper Iris

Iris fulva

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: fulva (FUL-vuh) (Info)
» View all varieties of Iris




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Magenta (Pink-Purple)


Scarlet (Dark Red)




Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Pale Yellow


Bloom Time:

Midseason (M)



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Awards (if applicable):

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuskegee, Alabama

Joiner, Arkansas

Mena, Arkansas

Moline, Illinois

Coushatta, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Mandeville, Louisiana (2 reports)

Paulina, Louisiana

White Castle, Louisiana

Elsberry, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Sparks, Nevada

Monroe, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Muskogee, Oklahoma

Wagoner, Oklahoma

Corpus Christi, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 28, 2010, OhioLarch from Monroe, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

In spite of comments about constant moisture, my small clump has bloomed in spite of neglect at the street-side edge of a clay-heavy bed.

I'm sure it would be happier with more water and organic matter, and I hope to improve conditions for it next year.


On Mar 10, 2010, loiswildflowers from Joiner, AR wrote:

I grew this Iris fulva from seed several years ago. You have to have patience. I used a large needle to prick a hole in the coat of each small seed. Then I put the seed in a ziploc bag in damp peat moss and placed it in the refrigeratoar until the seed sprouted. Takes several months for them to sprout but is worth the wait.

Lois Wilson
Joiner, Arkansas


On Apr 26, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this in my little pond. The pond never freezes over completely, and I don't remove the plant from the pond in winter. It seems perfectly content with my benign neglect.


On Nov 24, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I believe this is the red iris that grew along the Bayou Teche behind my Grandparent's cypress cabin in South Louisiana when I was a young child. My Grandfather had several small wooden boats, called "pirogues," tied up to a short wooden dock, and I loved to play down on this dock, where you could get up close to these flowers. From a distance, in the sun, they were a blaze of red against the dark waters of the bayou. These red irises were growing along the bank of the Bayou in the partial shade of low hanging branches of live oaks, dripping in Spanish moss.

The excellent book "The Louisiana Iris, The Taming of a Native American Wildflower," second edition, published by The Society for Louisiana Irises, goes into great detail about the original five species of Louisiana... read more


On Nov 23, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one of the parent species of the 'Louisiana Iris'. It hybridizes freely with I. giganticaerulea, I. brevicaulis, and I. x nelsonii. Wild populations were nearly wiped out due to the demand by European iris breeders because of the ease of crossing and its red color.

Native to marshes, bogs and swamps, this iris adapts readily to garden environments and has proven itself to grow well outside of its native range.

The foliage begins growing in the fall and usually dies back in the summer.

Flowers attract hummers and bees. They are usually brick colored, but can be anywhere in the red/yellow part of the spectrum and bicolored flowers are not uncommon.

Seems a bit more shade tolerant than the other irises in its group.