Yellow Iris

©Richard Burkmarr

Yellow iris

Scientific name: Iris pseudacorus
The large, sunshine-yellow flowers of the Yellow iris brighten up the margins of our waterways, ponds, wet woods, fens and marshes. Also called the 'Flag Iris', its outer petals have a characteristic 'droop'.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 40-100cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to August

About

The water-loving Yellow iris can be found along the margins of waterways and ponds, and in wet woodlands, fens and saltmarshes. Often mingled among other reedbed plants, its large, bright yellow flowers appear between May and August; they are thought to be the inspiration for the fleur-de-lis symbol, which is used in heraldry and also by the Scouts.

How to identify

The Yellow iris has tall reed stems that are sometimes branched. Its long, narrow leaves are grey-green and sword-like, and may droop at the ends. Its large, yellow flower petals fold back on themselves and hang down around the outer edges of the flower.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The Yellow Iris can be invasive and may easily take over a small pond; it has even become a problem in the wild in some areas where it has escaped and spread from cultivated varieties. To avoid it taking control, try planting it in a basket to keep it contained around the margins of your wildlife pond.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.