See Show Calender


■ (SPEC) Iris fulva Ker-Gawl

1812, John Bellenden Ker alias John Gawler

Iris fulva Ker-Gawl ( John Ker-Gawler, 1812, South Central United States); Series Hexagonae , Fulva; 18-30" (45-75 cm); Color Class-R4; Flowers solitary or 2-together at terminal and axils. Standards shorter, similar color to falls, narrow obovate, notched at apex, falls spreading, arching, 3-7 cm. long- the blade oval, red, deeper coloring at center, veined very dark red, notched at apex. Style branches broadly linear, about 2 cm. long, brownish-red within, yellowish externally. Capsule elliptic to oval, 4-5 cm. long, not beaked.

See below:

Dykes plate Iris fulvaPlate from DykesPhoto scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collectionPhoto scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collectionPhoto by Cindy Dufrene- CindyPhoto by Iris of Sissinghurst,UKPhoto by John Jearrard -JearradSeedFulvaBC.jpgI. fulva dwarf formPhoto scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collectionPhoto by Peter Jackson- Adelaide-South AustraliaPhoto by Peter Jackson- Adelaide-South AustraliaPhoto by John BaumfalkIris fulva dwarf form, in my garden, by Stephanie BootPhoto scanned from the John Weiler slide collectionPhoto scanned from the John Weiler slide collectionPhoto by Iris City GardensPhoto by Seagate Irises-United KingdomPhoto by Rowden Gardens-EnglandPhoto by Iris City GardensPhoto by Joe Pye WeedRhizome of FulvaPhoto by Sans Souci NurseryPhoto by Founders of SIGNAPlease contact Brock Heilman for image use.Photo by Kathryn Mohrpries photo


Curtis's Botanical Magazine table 1496. 1812, Desc. Rootstock assurgent about half an inch in diameter; leaves of a bright green colour, equitant, sheathing, those in the sterile fascicles, as throughout the genus, broader and longer than those in the fertile ones, about two feet high and more than half an inch across ; stem about the thickness of an ordinary quill and usually one-branched; corolla about three inches long, scentless; tube greenish; segments on their first development hanging loosely down, afterwards extending themselves somewhat horizontally, as in the coloured flower of the annexed engraving, of a tawny or copper colour with purple veins; by the asistance of a magnifying glass, that part of the outer ones which lies under the sligmas will be found to be covered with a short pubescence, resembling that on the skin of a peach, especially at the veins; this is likewise the case in versicolor and virginica although relatively termed beardless.

An unrecorded and lingular species, differing from any known to us in the colour and inflexion of the corolla. Found spontaneous on the Banks of Mississippi, in low grounds not far from the town of New-Orleans. Introduced into this country in 1811 by Mr. Lyon, a very intelligent and industrious collector of North- American plants. Hardy. Blossoms in June. Seeds freely, and is easily propagated by dividing the rootstock. G.
Pépin, 1834, Iris fauve, Iris Fulva, Annales de Flore et de Pomone, pp. 364-366.
RHS 88: 113, 1963;
Prince 1823; Ware 1882
as I. cuprea in The Garden, p.518, table 1175
Van T. 1900; Farr 1912; Macoun;
Dykes, The Genus Iris

I. fulva Apogon; I. hexagonae haud dissimilis; sed segmenta interiora truncata, emarginata, exterioribus subaequalia Colore etiam omnino differt.

Rootstock , a stout rhizome, showing ring-like marks where the leaves of former years have been attached, of a pale greenish brown.
Leaves , bright green, ensiform, the upper third reflexed, 2 ft. or more long by 1 in. wide; the plant is practically evergreen.
Stem , 2 ft. or more in height, bearing a terminal head of 2 flowers, and 2 side-flowers set in the axils of reduced leaves.
Spathe valves , narrow, pointed, 2-4 in. long, the outer sheaths being• green and persistent, unequal.
Pedicel , about 1 1/2 in. long.
Ovary , six-ribbed, as in spuria, but with the ribs at more equal intervals, shorter than the tube, green.
Tube , yellowish, 3/4--1 in. long, quite hollow right down to the ovary.
Falls , oblanceolate cuneate, of a deep terra cotta colour, with veins of a deeper colour, especially along the centre of the blade, 2 1/2 in. by 1 in.
Standards , broad, truncated, deeply emarginate, of the same colour as the falls, 2 in. by 1 m. Styles , short, under r in. long, convex, unkeeled.
Crests , small, rounded, triangular, with minutely serrate edge.
Stigma , with two pointed teeth, not prominent.
Filaments , yellowish, short.
Anthers , cream, reaching stigma.
Pollen, cream.
Capsule , very large, 2 in. long by an inch or more broad. Six-ribbed, with 3 broad and 3 narrow surfaces, each of which bears a slight ridge down the centre, remaining green, even when the seeds are ripe (see Fig. 10).
Seeds , with a thick spongy covering, irregular, with flat sides, very large, 1/4-3/8 in. in length (see Plate XLVIII, Fig. 3).
This Iris stands quite alone in the colour of the flowers, which is bright copper or terra cotta (see Plate XXI). Another curious feature is that, although when the flower first opens the segments all droop as in the drawing, yet on the following days they become much less pendulous, though still spreading rather than erect.
Herbarium specimens of this Iris are only with difficulty distinguished from examples of I. hexagona, unless it is possible to see the shape of the standards, which in I. .fulva are much broader and more obtuse, or the very narrow, short style-branches, and minute crests.
The leaves of this Iris show distinctly by their structure that it is an aquatic species, but it remains flowerless, if treated as such in England. It requires here a somewhat dry and warm position in rich light soil. It should be transplanted soon after the flowers have faded, and is much hardier in the climate of the greater part of England than is I. hexagona.
Berry 1938; per 1938; Wayman 1938;


Copper Iris; cuprea; fulva, Tratt.; Neubeckia fulva, Alef.

Chromosome counts

n=21, 2n=42, Simonet 1932, 2n=42-Riley 1942; 2n=42-Randolph & Mitra 1961; 2n-42, Randolph, 1966.


Iris fulva cultivars: 'Apricot Queen', 'August Flame', 'Autumn Fire', 'Baby Sis Pink' 'Bayou Bandit', 'Bayou Gauche', 'Bayou Goula', 'Bazeti', 'Bit Of Blush'; 'Bolshevik', 'Bronze Red', 'Chackbay, 'Chocolate', 'Choctaw Tribe', 'Couperin', 'Cuprea', 'Devil's Advocate', 'Devil's Scion', 'Dwarf Terracotta', 'Dwarf Yellow', 'Edith Dupre', 'Encarnado', 'Esplanade', 'Flash', 'Fulvaflav', 'Fulvaflav', 'Fulva Special', 'Fulvaurea', 'Galloway-Lanoke', 'Georgia Peach', 'Golden Arrowhead', 'Gold In California', 'Gold Medallion', 'Gulf Sunshine', 'Karandash', 'Kraemer Tan', 'Kraemer Yellow', 'Le Vieux Carre', 'Louisiana Sunset', 'Margot Castellanos', 'Maringouin Freak”, 'Maringouin Fulva', 'Marvell Gold', 'Mc Gregor', 'Red Fire', 'Sazerac', 'Slick Willie'.


Iris fulva crosses:
  • Iris fulva and Iris brevicaulis: 'Bertha Fabel', 'Cacique', 'Fluvial', 'Fulvala', 'Fulvala Purpurea', 'Fulvala Violacea', 'Huron Regent'.
  • Iris fulva X Iris brevicaulis: 'Dorothea K. Williamson'.
  • Iris fulva X Iris vinicolor: 'Accolade'.
  • Iris fulva X Iris giganticaerulea: 'Lilyana'.
  • Iris fulva and Iris giganticaerulea: 'Chef Menteur', 'Cherokee', 'Clarette', 'Coweta', 'Creek', 'Imosa', 'James Zacharie'.
  • Iris fulva X Iris hexagona: 'Amalata', 'Appalachee', 'Chucalissa', 'Faloma'.
  • Iris fulva and Iris hexagona: 'Balbancha', 'Haloka, 'Ikoni', 'Kathryn Knox', 'Laurentia'.
  • Iris fulva X LA Hybrid : 'Arkansas', 'Choctaw'.
  • LA Hybrid X Iris fulva: 'Big Interest', 'Delta Country'.
  • Iris fulva X Spuria hybrid(in question): 'Bejar' ?, 'John Wister'.
Yet to be filed crosses: 'Calera', 'Champaigne', 'Emma Sample', 'Halochee', 'Imperialis', 'Linda Leach', 'Lockett's Luck', 'Longfellow's Gabriel', 'Louise Austin', 'Mallard Wing', 'Mandeville', 'Manitou', 'Metairie', 'Mingko', 'Mistis', 'Nacoba', 'Papillon Jaune', 'Pelican State', 'Pointe Ala Hatche', 'Pontchartrain', 'Pontchartrain Sunset', 'Posi', 'Red Echo', 'Royal Choice', 'Rufus', 'Sagamore', 'Santee', 'Sweet Accord', 'Talladega', 'Taskona', 'Tejas', 'Tex-Sun', 'Tolana', 'Tuckahoe', 'Tulsa', 'Vineyard', 'Vinicolor', 'Wahalle', 'Wena Goodall', 'Yaneka'.

Iris fulva second generation crosses: 'Big Interest', 'Bright Galaxy'.

Distribution and Cultivation

Distribution: The distribution of the species gives clues as to its cultural requirements, although plants in cultivation can often tolerate a wider range of variables:
The species is found in the following region:

Bonap's North American Plant Atlas shows the following map reproduced by permission of Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2015. Taxonomic Data Center. ( Chapel Hill, N.C. [maps generated from Kartesz, J.T. 2015. Floristic Synthesis of North America, Version 1.0. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). (in press)]
Prefers moist soil, but can be grown in good garden soil, well-drained and flourishes in full sun to part shade. Copius water during bloomseason. See Cultivation of Louisiana Irises
See more about preservation of Iris Fulva at Louisiana Iris Preservation Project

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Your Observations Are Valued. Please make note of bud count, branching, purple based foliage and bloom time, etc. Because these are affected by climate, note date, year and geographic location and write these and other comments in the comment box below.


-- BobPries - 2009-11-06
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Dykes_Plate_XVLIII_fulva.jpgjpg Dykes_Plate_XVLIII_fulva.jpg manage 55 K 04 Jan 2011 - 14:59 BobPries Dykes plate Iris fulva
FulvaBC.jpgjpg FulvaBC.jpg manage 36 K 16 Jan 2010 - 19:44 Main.shanatse I. fulva "broken color"
FulvaDwarf.jpgjpg FulvaDwarf.jpg manage 40 K 16 Jan 2010 - 19:45 Main.shanatse I. fulva dwarf form
I._fulva_dwarf_sb.jpgjpg I._fulva_dwarf_sb.jpg manage 58 K 22 Jul 2010 - 08:05 Main.rivdel Iris fulva dwarf form, in my garden, by Stephanie Boot
Iris-fulva-6-Rhizome_edited-1.jpgjpg Iris-fulva-6-Rhizome_edited-1.jpg manage 69 K 24 May 2011 - 19:13 BobPries Rhizome of Fulva
IrisfulvaMarvellGoldFounders01.jpgjpg IrisfulvaMarvellGoldFounders01.jpg manage 21 K 11 Oct 2014 - 14:57 TerryLaurin Photo by Founders of SIGNA
P1380334-X2_i_fulva.jpgjpg P1380334-X2_i_fulva.jpg manage 285 K 17 Feb 2016 - 06:23 BrockHeilman Please contact Brock Heilman for image use.
SIGNA_09LA112_fulva_ex_Grassy_Lake_AR__OP.jpgjpg SIGNA_09LA112_fulva_ex_Grassy_Lake_AR__OP.jpg manage 568 K 20 Jan 2012 - 14:03 BobPries pries photo
fulva-fulvala_edited-1.jpgjpg fulva-fulvala_edited-1.jpg manage 35 K 02 Dec 2009 - 02:32 BobPries Plate from Dykes' Genus iris
fulva07.jpegjpeg fulva07.jpeg manage 75 K 20 Feb 2020 - 15:00 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collection
fulva08.jpegjpeg fulva08.jpeg manage 107 K 20 Feb 2020 - 02:38 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collection
fulva09.jpegjpeg fulva09.jpeg manage 63 K 18 Feb 2020 - 20:29 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collection
fulva1.jpgjpg fulva1.jpg manage 165 K 26 Mar 2018 - 13:44 TerryLaurin Photo by Cindy Dufrene- Cindy's Louisiana Iris
fulva10.jpgjpg fulva10.jpg manage 18 K 22 Jan 2014 - 04:13 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris of Sissinghurst,UK
fulva5.JPGJPG fulva5.JPG manage 61 K 01 Oct 2023 - 02:10 TerryLaurin Photo by John Jearrard -Jearrad's Herbal-United Kingdom
fulvaJB16.JPGJPG fulvaJB16.JPG manage 39 K 30 May 2016 - 13:20 BetsyHiggins Photo by John Baumfalk
fulva_seed.jpgjpg fulva_seed.jpg manage 37 K 29 Sep 2010 - 17:47 BobPries Seed
fulvagold.jpegjpeg fulvagold.jpeg manage 67 K 20 Feb 2020 - 02:40 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the Carla Lankow slide collection
fulvajackson.jpgjpg fulvajackson.jpg manage 203 K 09 Oct 2022 - 20:01 TerryLaurin Photo by Peter Jackson- Adelaide-South Australia
fulvajackson1.JPGJPG fulvajackson1.JPG manage 300 K 17 Oct 2023 - 02:36 TerryLaurin Photo by Peter Jackson- Adelaide-South Australia
i.fulvayellow01.jpgjpg i.fulvayellow01.jpg manage 62 K 22 Sep 2014 - 01:29 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the John Weiler slide collection
i.fulvayellow02.jpgjpg i.fulvayellow02.jpg manage 66 K 22 Sep 2014 - 01:31 TerryLaurin Photo scanned from the John Weiler slide collection
ifulva01.jpgjpg ifulva01.jpg manage 59 K 19 Aug 2014 - 21:41 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris City Gardens
ifulva02.jpgjpg ifulva02.jpg manage 22 K 11 Sep 2014 - 16:15 TerryLaurin Photo by Seagate Irises-United Kingdom
ifulva03.jpgjpg ifulva03.jpg manage 31 K 09 Oct 2014 - 17:10 TerryLaurin Photo by Rowden Gardens-England
ifulvadwarf.jpgjpg ifulvadwarf.jpg manage 46 K 19 Aug 2014 - 21:43 TerryLaurin Photo by Iris City Gardens
ifulvamarvellgold01.JPGJPG ifulvamarvellgold01.JPG manage 68 K 20 Oct 2014 - 21:21 TerryLaurin Photo by Joe Pye Weed's Garden
irisfulva9.jpgjpg irisfulva9.jpg manage 40 K 26 Nov 2013 - 02:56 TerryLaurin Photo by Sans Souci Nursery
pink fulva 2.jpgjpg pink fulva 2.jpg manage 210 K 15 Jul 2019 - 19:47 TerryLaurin Photo by Kathryn Mohr
Topic revision: r48 - 17 Oct 2023, TerryLaurin
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