Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Iris
Bílátahyígaii
(a.k.a. Blue flag, Flag lily. Liver lily)

Dried seed pod

Western blue flag, the iris species found in Navajo rangelands, is a perennial herb, usually evergreen and growing from a creeping, tuberous rhizome. Rhizomes on blue flag are between 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, quite large for a native iris. The leaves are 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide, long and linear with parallel venation. They are sometimes purplish. Stems are 8 to 20 inches tall and sometimes branched. Blossoms of this iris species are pale lilac to whitish with lilac-purple veins.

The roots have been used to treat toothaches and to make a green dye.

A bloom displaying lavender and yellow coloration next to grasslike leaves.
Growth habit in small cluster with bladelike leaves and lavender flowers
Close-up of flower, showing white and purple veined pattern with yellow toward the center
Close-up showing the two types of petals: inner and outer
Growth habit showing formation of leaves

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