Wild Iris of the Pacific Coast

Here is a overview of the Pacifica iris species. To discover more, use the WILD IRIS button above, then go to ID SPECIES and chose then one you want to know more about, or click on the picture. Remember, these plants easily cross, so in an area where their ranges overlap, you might be looking at a hybrid PCI.

Another excellent coverage of these species can be seen at the US Forest Service's Celebrating Wildflowers internet site titled "Our Native Irises - The Pacific Coast Irises".

Photograph Key Features Distribution
Iris douglasiana 1. Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana)
Short floral tube, wide leaves, branched stems with multiple flowers, triangular seed capsules
Grasslands and sunny meadows near the Pacific Ocean, common between southern Oregon and Santa Barbara in California
Iris bracteata 2. Siskiyou iris (Iris bracteata)
Short leaves overlap along stem, short floral tube
Pine forests of southern Oregon and adjacent Siskiyou mountains of California
Iris innominata 3. Golden iris (Iris innominata)
Grass-like leaves forming clumps, often with many golden flowers
Inland forests of the Klamath mountains of southwestern Oregon, possibly extending to northern California
Iris thompsonii 4. Thompson's iris (Iris thompsonii)
Grass-like leaves forming clumps, often with many lavender or purple flowers
Grassy slopes on forest edges; lower Klamath mountains of northern California and southwestern Oregon
Iris macrosiphon 5. Bowl-tube iris (Iris macrosiphon)
Long floral tube with bowl-like top, stem-leaves enclose ovary
Sunny California grasslands, coastal mountains & western Sierra Nevada foothills, sea level to 3000 feet elevation
Iris fernaldii 6. Fernald's iris (Iris fernaldii)
Yellow or cream flowers, long floral tube with funnel-like top, stem-leaves enclose ovary
Shaded oak-bay-madrone forests of the California central and northern inland coastal ranges
Iris purdyi 7. Purdy's iris (Iris purdyi)
Large, white or cream, flat-appearing flowers, short overlapping leaves along stem
Shaded forests of the northern California coastal range, near the coast, up to 3000 feet elevation
Iris chrysophylla 8. Yellow-leaf iris (Iris chrysophylla)
White or cream flowers, long floral tube, very long style crests
Pine or fir forest meadows in western and southern Oregon, northern edge of California, to 5500 feet elevation
Iris tenuissima 9. Shasta iris (Iris tenuissima)
Long floral tube, very slender and easily breakable flower parts
Pine forests of northern California, from foothills to 6000 feet elevation
Iris hartwegii 10. Sierra Iris (Iris hartwegii)
Short floral tube, ovary exposed, usually single plants
Shaded yellow pine forests of western Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino-San Gabriel mountains, from 2000 to 7000 feet elevation
Iris tenax 11. Tough-leaf iris (Iris tenax)
Strong leaves, floral tube short and stout, ovary exposed
Meadows and shaded forests of western Oregon and southern Washington
Iris munzii 12. Munz's iris (Iris munzii)
Largest Pacifica iris, broad leaves, stems bear several flowers.
Dry, open live-oak grasslands in hot Sierra Nevada foothills of Tulare County, California