Continuing my series on the plants of the coast redwood understory, here we have some Pacific coast irises growing near our smaller stream. There are almost a dozen species of Pacific coast irises (and they can hybridize) so I’m not positive on my identification but I’m pretty sure these are Douglas irises, or proper name Iris douglasiana.
The native evergreen Douglas iris grows along the coast from central California up to southern Oregon. It’s got long sword shaped leaves and the flowers sit atop a stalk that’s anywhere from 1 to 2 feet tall. The flowers, which show up in late spring, range in color from blue/purple through yellow and even white.
This common iris was first described by David Douglas who also gave his name to the Douglas fir tree.
[Photo credit: me and Deanna L. Pierce]