This perennial plant is endemic to the Great Lakes area, meaning it doesn’t naturally occur anywhere else in the world. It is almost exclusively found along the northern shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. From mid-May through June this plant blooms with one to two flowers that come in many shades of purples and blues, usually no larger than 2 inches in size. This small but beautiful flower is also Michigan’s state wildflower.
The dwarf lake iris is listed as threatened both federally and in the state of Michigan. Its natural habitat along high water lines has been disrupted by shoreline development and the plant has also been impacted by chemical spraying and salting. Maintaining natural shoreline habitats can help stop the threat to the dwarf lake iris.
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