Rocky mountain iris
Wild Iris resembles a perfectly shaped miniature domesticated Iris. Wild Iris typically has leaves and flower stalk about a foot tall, with a three inch flower, but it is not uncommon to find Iris growing to two feet tall. As is true of many flowers, color variations exist in Wild Iris, but in our area the range is in shades of blue/purple with a rare white flower. Wild Iris is most often found in extensive patches in moist meadows from the foothills to the mountains, but it also grows solitary in open moist woods. It is common to find Iris blooming in dry meadows in June; these were certainly moist in April and early May. The duration of Iris missouriensis flowering is determined by the amount of late spring snow and early summer rain.
Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and the species was named by Thomas Nuttall in 1834 from a specimen collected by his friend Nathaniel Wyeth “towards the sources of the Missouri” (as quoted in Intermountain Flora). “Iris” was the Greek goddess of the rainbow and “missouriensis” refers to the river. (More biographical information.)