Short Takes

Yellow Iris, Levee Road

Yellow Iris, Levee Road
(plein air, 6×8″, oil on canvas panel, available)

Yellow Iris are an invasive species, but they fly their spring flags so brightly they are a delight to see every year. I wonder how they got here originally, some pioneer woman wanting a bit of beauty, a Chinese herbalist for some cure, or maybe some fauna was responsible? Whatever their origin, they now populate riparian riverbanks, and earthen levees along the Delta’s 1,000 miles of waterways.

According to PlantRight, Iris pseudacorus is a fast-growing and rapidly-spreading invasive plant that can out-compete other wetland plants, forming almost impenetrable thickets. It grows to 5 feet tall and has yellow, showy flowers. It often blooms from mid-spring to summer and its leaves remain green all year when there are mild winters.

Like me, most people don’t realize they are invasive, so enjoy them, but don’t transport or propagate them. ‘Yellow Iris, Levee Road’, plein air, 6×8″, oil on canvas panel, available.

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