Species Iris, Zig Zag Iris

Iris brevicaulis

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: brevicaulis (brev-ee-KAW-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Iris acleantha
Synonym:Iris alabamensis
Synonym:Iris Iris atrocyanea
Synonym:Iris callilopha
Synonym:Iris chrysaeola
» View all varieties of Iris
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Species (SPEC)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 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

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Light Blue

Dark Blue

Medium Blue



Medium Purple

Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:

Midseason (M)



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

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:

Iowa City, Iowa

Merryville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

Saucier, Mississippi

Austin, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 15, 2013, david3payne from Lubbock, TX wrote:

Gathered from Wabash River flood plain, Wabash Co., IL; planted by street-side ditch, 431 E. 8th, Mt. Carmel, IL, ca. 1957; transplanted to swampy backyard, Kingwood, Tx, 1989; transplanted 530 miles n.e., and 3000 feet higher, to Lubbock, TX, ca. 1995. Lubbock Iris Society members delight in its beauty and hardiness.


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

I. brevicaulis is the shortest and the broadest of the five natural species of Louisiana iris, with its flowers "borne from near the base and always amid the foilage, never above the foilage," (The Louisiana Iris--The Taming of a Native American Wildflower, second edition by The Society for Louisiana Irises). It was found naturally growing in dryer conditions than the other four species, in pastures and prairies that were often wet during the growing season. The oldest known Louisiana iris, a pink variant of I. brevicaulis named 'Pink Joy Roberts,' was supposedly collected over 150 years ago

I. brevicaulis was found growing extensively from South Louisiana all the way up the Mississippi River Valley to the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. Its flowers are ... read more


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

One of the parent species of the'Louisiana Iris', this species easily hybridizes with I. fulva, I. nelsonii, and I. giganticaerulea. One of its most distinguishing features is the zig-zag bends of the flower stalks.

A well behaved perennial which proliferates under favorable garden conditions from pond gardens to perennial borders. Grows well far outside of its native range. (gulf coast).

Flowers attract hummers and bees and range in the blue end of the spectrum.