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This unusual southern US native was discovered growing in a swamp in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, near the town of Abbeville. Although it is thought to have originated as a menage a trois between Iris fulva, Iris brevicaulis, and Iris giganticaerulea, Iris nelsonii was published as a new species in 1966. Iris nelsonii makes a vigorous clump of narrow, green, deer-resistant foliage, topped in early May with 2" cinnamon/lavender flowers...a hummingbird hangout. Either moist soil or up to 4" of standing water suits this plant just fine.
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