I is for Invasive Iris on the A to Z Blogger Challenge. Ihe iris in question here is the yellow flag, Iris pseudacorus, which I planted at the edge of our Frog Pond nearly 20 years ago. It didn’t actually succeed there, which is amazing, but before it died it sent seeds up to our Sunken Garden which is very wet. I have been trying to destroy this plant for years, letting the little grandsons loose with clippers and choppers and anything else they chose. We have mowed it down again. We have tried digging it out. All to no avail. I guess you could say we have it under control since we no longer allow it to bloom The lesson is, do not buy the yellow flag at a nursery. Do not allow any neighbor or friend to give you a clump. This is an official Invasive Plant.
It is pretty. I’ll give you that, and it is the plant that inspired the Fleur de Lis, so familiar to lovers of all things French. I loved the story about one of the Louis, who was forced to make a strategic retreat during some battle or other. When he got to a river he and his army thought they were doomed until they saw a place there the yellow flag was blooming and knew that the river was shallow there and they could all gallop across. In gratitude he make the iris, the Fleur de Lis, the symbol of France. When I tried to find a citation for this story I discovered that there are many stories about the fleur de lis and that this iconic symbol has been used back to the days of antiquity. One story says it is a symbol of the tears Eve shed when she was banished from the Garden of Eden.
In our neighborhood there was a large beaver pond with thousands of yellow flags growing around the edges. It was a beautiful sight, but very dangerous. That enormous plantation no longer exists because the beaver dam broke, doing a lot of damage down stream. The beavers gave up and never rebuilt. Without those lovely wet edges the yellow flags all died.
I have not given up trying to get rid of of my invasive iris, but I will persevere
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I is really beautiful. But thanks for the warning! I’ll resist the urge to plant them. 🙂
WE have the same problem here with purple loosestrife. Pretty but dangerous to other plants. We also have issues with buckthorn which my neighbor seems to think is just wonderful as his yard is covered with it.
Invasive plants are tough to deal with, even or maybe especially when they are beautiful. Mint can be a problem like that too, although I planted more away from our house near the tangle of blackberry bushes so our cat can enjoy it.
I have the same problem with the pretty but invasive Primrose. It has completely taken over a bed in the backyard. I’ve tried digging and pulling and digging some more, and it’s still coming up. Like you, I will not give up…I will win!
I am SO with you on this iris!! I still have some, but will be removing it – or attempting to – this spring. HATE IT.
We have the same problem with the Iris which is native to my area. I didnt realize the problem is so rampant!
Hmm. I’m growing Louisiana iris and I like to think of it as vigorous but not invasive. It sure does spread in wet soil, though.
Huh, so this is a native invasive, or is it native ti North America but not New England.
Jason – This is not a native plant, As I mentioned in my post,its history goes back centuries in France, and even further to ancient Mesopotamia.