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Nemastylis (Shell Flower)

More Information About Nemastylis

Nemastylis is an Irid (Iris relative) that is native to North America and Central America containing 5 species. In the US you can find 4 native species of Nemastylis living in small disjunct areas of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri.

Nemastylis grows from a small bulb and produces a succession of sky blue flowers on top of 18" tall stems over a 2 week period during spring. Each flower lasts only a single day, opening in the morning, attracting its preferred pollinator, bees and then closing by late afternoon. Where it is happy, Nemastylis bulbs will multiply forming clumps with time. Its native habitat is alkaline or neutral prairies and pastures that experience periodic fires.

The small habit and narrow foliage of Nemastylis make it perfect for a wildflower meadow garden, a rock garden, or even a groundcover. Nemastylis is not unlike another irids that we grow, Sisyrinchium and Calydorea, but Nemastylis has larger flowers. When you are ready to buy Nemastylis for your garden, check out our online list of Nemastylis for sale below.