Plant of the Week: Copper Iris

Photo of copper iris by Steven SeveringhausThe vibrant copper iris continues to bloom late into the season. Photo by Steven Severinghaus

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Iris fulva, known as the copper iris for its exceptional red and orange hues (fulva is latin for “tawny”) is a member of the taxonomic group native to the Southeastern United States known as the Louisiana irises. A beardless and crestless iris, the species is a favorite of hummingbirds, which are known to be Iris fulva’s primary pollinators. Still in bloom late this season, Iris fulva can be found in the Chelsea Grasslands near the 18th Street staircase, standing proudly among the neighboring towers of grasses and wildflowers, including crowd favorite prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis).

In bloom on the High Line at West 18th Street.

Download our September Bloom Guide.

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