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Yellow iris

Quick facts

Yellow iris is a regulated invasive species. Species are legal to buy, sell, transport and possess, but may not be introduced into a free-living state, such as released into public waters.

  • Yellow iris grows along shorelines, in shallow water and in roadside ditches.
  • Competes with native shoreland vegetation.

Yellow iris's should be reported. See the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommendations for reporting invasive species.


How to identify yellow iris

  • Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) is a perennial aquatic herbaceous plant, grows one to five feet tall along shores in shallow water.
  • Can also be found in roadside ditches.


  • Gradually tapering sword-like leaves up to three fourths of an inch wide, dark green to blue-green color.
  • The leaves form in basal clusters without petioles.
  • Center of leaf is sharply thickened.
Yellow iris flower


  • Two or three deep yellow flowers grow on one round stalk, shorter than outer leaves.
  • Three outer drooping sepals with brownish mottled markings surround the true flower.
  • Blooms May through July.


  • Oblong capsules each containing numerous smooth, flattened seeds.


  • Has a short root system with stout rhizomes for vegetative reproduction.

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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