Purdy's iris near Lake Sonoma, California

Iris purdyi grows under oaks, California laurel and Douglas fir near the west side of Lake Sonoma. A forest and shade-loving iris, it sometimes interbreeds with Iris macrosiphon in places like Warm Springs Dam, where the coastal forest gives way to sunny meadows and grasslands of the inland valleys.

Purdy's iris along Old Skaggs Spring Road
Hybrid plants show characteristics of both parents. April 27, 2002, Old Skaggs Spring Road, Sonoma County. Steve Ayala.

Along the eastern and middle sections of Stewards Point Road (photos below) the large, flat Iris purdyi flowers are generally white or light cream with reddish brown veins. Once the road nears the cool Pacific Ocean, the forest trees are mainly Douglas fir, redwood, laurel and tan-bark oak.

Purdy's iris beside Stewards Point Road
Here, the flower petals often have a purple or lavender wash with darker lavender veins, perhaps through genetic sharing with Iris douglasiana.
April 27, 2002. Steve Ayala.