Crested Iris (Iris cristata)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Crested Iris
Iris cristata

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    An ointment made from the roots is applied to cancerous ulcers[222, 257].

    A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of hepatitis[222, 257].

  • Edible Use

    Root – used as a spice[2, 105]. Frequently chewed by local people to alleviate thirst[177, 207]. When first chewed the roots have a pleasant sweet taste, within a few minutes this changes to a burning sensation far more pungent than capsicums[207]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised[65]. The roots are especially likely to be toxic[238]. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people[238].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It does not require cold stratification. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in July/August[42]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Requires a light or gravelly[42] lime-free[79] soil of a woodland nature in partial shade[42, 79, 127] or full sun[42]. Likes plenty of moisture in summer but the soil must be well-drained[127]. Grows well on a peat bank[188]. Plants are hardy to about -20¡c[187]. Another report says that it is best if the plants are lifted intact in October, stored in sand and planted out in March[1]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer and rabbits[233]. Plants require protection from slugs[187]. Frequent division and transplanting every other year is necessary if the plant is to thrive and persist[187].
Eastern N. America – Maryland to Ohio, south to Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.