Vernal Iris, Crested Iris – Identification
Q: I am trying to find the correct name for the tiny wild iris that grow in the north Georgia mountains. Can you help?
A: You are seeing vernal iris, Iris verna. There is another dwarf iris you may see: crested iris, Iris cristata.
They differ in that vernal iris has a flat sepal (lower flower petal) while crested iris has a raised crest in the center.
Both grow in mature hardwood forests in the Southeast.
I saw many clumps of vernal iris in early April along the trail to Len Foote Hike Inn, above Amicalola Falls.