Native Plants for Spring in Maryland

Dwarf Crested Iris


Dwarf Crested Iris is fast-spreading.  In the early spring it boasts lovely flowers ranging from pale-blue to lavender.  It’s low-growing habit makes for a great ground cover.  It does well in shade as well as sun, though full-sun areas will need consistently moist soil for it to thrive.  A great plant for shade, rock and woodland gardens.

LGS Notes:

Iris cristata is a great choice for early spring color in a woodland or shade garden. I also like to use it as a ground cover or edger for those tricky sites where shade and deer are an issue. – Jessica

These are such a lovely little burst of spring color!   I use them in a variety of light conditions in my own garden and really appreciate how the leaves provide interest after the flowers fade. Ferns, Heuchera, Tiarella, and our native sedum (Sedum ternatum) make great companions in the shade and part-shade. — Amy

I like to use Iris cristata in rain gardens and other locations with moist soil. The flowers are great for early pollinators and fall under the category of spring blooming shade plants. Deer usually don’t eat them! Lauren


Latin Name: Iris cristata
Common Name: dwarf crested iris  
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: Northeastern United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pale blue with gold-crested falls
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought
(Information from Missouri Botanical Garden)