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U.S. Forest Service

Our Native Irises

Follow the Rainbow

When we think of irises, our thoughts bring images of bearded irises. We think of the imported garden irises of the Siberian, Spuria, Dutch, and Japanese groups, and their myriad of colors and forms in peoples’ flower gardens. There are approximately 280 species of irises in the world. The majority of them are native to Europe and Asia. Even though the imported garden irises are very beautiful, the 28 iris species native to the United States are beautiful in their own right.

Join us, as we become the mythical messenger, Iris, of Greek mythology as we share with you the story of the native irises on our national forests and grasslands.