Crested Iris

Iris cristata, also known as dwarf crested iris and crested iris, is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Limniris. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant, endemic to the eastern United States. It has pale lavender flowers with a white patch and orange or yellow crest. It is a close relative to Iris lacustris (Dwarf lake iris), the only other crested iris native to North America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions. It grows in calcareous soils, in oak woodlands (or forests), on rocky hillsides, in ravines, on mountain ledges (and bluffs), and along streams. It has slender, greenish, or whitish yellow rhizomes. They are shallow rooted. They spread by sending out long stolons from multiple branches. They can have up to 2–8 cord-like branches. The branches can be 20–30 cm (8–12 in) long and 1-2mm wide. Like many other irises, most parts of the plant are poisonous (rhizome and leaves), if mistakenly ingested can cause stomach pains and vomiting. Also handling the plant may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction. It has been listed as a medicinal plant. It has been used by the Cherokee North American Indians in herbal medicines. A decoction of the pulverized root was used as a salve for ulcers. An infusion (tea) taken for the liver. Also, a decoction of the root was used to treat “yellowish urine.” The root was also used as an ingredient in a cream applied to skin ulcers. The root has also been used as a spice. Credit: Wikipedia.