Yellow iris

yellow iris

Jim Higham

Yellow Iris

©Richard Burkmarr

yellow iris

Steven Evans

Yellow iris

Scientific name: Iris pseudacorus
The large, sunshine-yellow flowers of the Yellow iris brighten up the margins of our waterways, ponds, wet woods, fens and marshes. Also called the 'Flag Iris', its outer petals have a characteristic 'droop'.

Species information


Height: 40-100cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to August


The water-loving Yellow iris can be found along the margins of waterways and ponds, and in wet woodlands, fens and saltmarshes. Often mingled among other reedbed plants, its large, bright yellow flowers appear between May and August; they are thought to be the inspiration for the fleur-de-lis symbol, which is used in heraldry and also by the Scouts.

How to identify

The Yellow iris has tall reed stems that are sometimes branched. Its long, narrow leaves are grey-green and sword-like, and may droop at the ends. Its large, yellow flower petals fold back on themselves and hang down around the outer edges of the flower.



Did you know?

The Yellow Iris can be invasive and may easily take over a small pond; it has even become a problem in the wild in some areas where it has escaped and spread from cultivated varieties. To avoid it taking control, try planting it in a basket to keep it contained around the margins of your wildlife pond.