Iris setosa (Arctic Iris)
Beach Flag, Beachhead Iris, Arctic Iris, Alaska Flag, Wild Dwarf Iris, Wild Flag Iris, and Hairy Iris ("setosa" means hairy) are just some of the common names for this deep violet, beardless native of Alaska, Iris setosa. So, I ask you, if it doesn't have a "beard," then why is it hairy? Beats me. I just know that Iris setosa is a beautiful iris and one I'm pleased to be able to include in my plant list. The blooms are deeply veined in dark purple, the signals are yellow/white, and the stiff green foliage is tinted purple at the base. Iris setosa grows from 12-18 inches in full sun or bright shade, and since it's a native of Alaska, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is extremely cold hardy. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and is more drought tolerant if planted in shade. Zones 3-8.