Blue Flag Iris   
Foto info
Blue Flag Iris
N Introduced
Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Blue Flag Iris, Kombirei (Manipuri)
Botanical name: Iris versicolor    Family: Iridaceae (iris family)

Iris flowers open in the Spring shortly after daffodils and tulips. Once the flower buds reach maturity, the base of the flower elongates to push the bud out from the sheath that surrounded it. Once extended, flower opening occurs with three petals often called the "standards", and three outer petal-like sepals called the "falls". Iris flowers enjoy a lot of sunshine and remain open for several days. Iris is a genus of flowering plants with showy flowers which takes its name from the Latin word for rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species as well as countless garden cultivars. Blue Flag Iris and other varitations of those names, is a species of Iris native to North America where it is common in sedge meadows, marshes, and along streambanks and shores. It is a perennial herb, usually 10-80 centimeter. high. This iris tends to form large clumps from thick, creeping rhizomes. The unwinged, erect stems generally have basal leaves that are more than 1 cm. wide. Leaves are folded on the midribs so that they form an overlapping flat fan. The well developed blue flower has 6 petals and sepals spread out nearly flat and have two forms. The longer sepals are hairless and have a greenish-yellow blotch at their base. The inferior ovary is bluntly angled. Flowers are usually light to deep blue and in bloom during May to July. Fruit is a 3-celled, bluntly angled capsule. The large seeds can be observed floating in the fall. Known by the Manipuri name kombirei, Iris flowers have a special significance in the Manipuri New Year, or the festival of Cherei. On this day, Iris flowers are given as offering to god.
Photographed in the Garden of Five Senses, Delhi