Tough-leaf iris - the real "rainbow iris"?

Among all the Pacific Coast native iris species, it's probably the Oregon, or tough-leaf iris that most deserves a name like "Rainbow Iris". Here are a few examples of its wide range of possible colors. Occasionally you'll find most of these variations on a single hillside. Click on the photographer's name in the notes below to see the original photos in their online albums.

Examples of the Oregon Iris' wide color range.

Top row: (L) SPCNI Trek to southwest Oregon, near Roseberg, May 2010, Kathleen Sayce.   (C) Colombia River, 10 miles east of Cathlamet, Wahkiakum County, Washington. June 6, 2010. Debby Cole.  (R) Nicolai Mountain, Clatsop County in northwest Oregon, Kathleen Sayce.

Center row: (L) Scroggins Creek at Hagg Lake, Washington County, Oregon. SPCNI Trek 2006. This is the distinctive yellow form of Iris tenax that was once described as a separate species - Iris gormanii. Kenneth Walker.  (C) Sain Creek at Hagg Lake, Oregon - where no two plants seemed to have the same color. SPCNI Trek 2006. Richard Richards.  (R) Nicolai Mountain, Clatsop County in northwest Oregon's Coast Range. Kathleen Sayce.

Bottom row: (L) Molalla River Corridor trail, south of Oregon City in Clakamas County, Oregon. ©John Baillie.   (C) SPCNI Trek to southwest Oregon, near Roseberg. 2010. Kathleen Sayce.  (R) Devil's Elbow State Park, on the Pacific Coast Highway in Lane County, Oregon. ©Jeff Jessing Photography.