Wild Harris

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris 1 LCampbell.jpgYellow Iris    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

The tallest yellow flower on the machair is the yellow iris, or yellow flag. This grows where the ground is damp, and you can see lots of this flower near the golf course at Scarista.

Each tall stem has up to three bright yellow flowers. The long leaves grow from the base and they look a bit like swords.

The flowers are specially adapted for being pollinated by bees – the pollen is protected from the rain by a part of the flower called the stigma, which looks like an umbrella and arches over the pollen.

Corncrakes like to live in iris beds, and often the best place to hear a corncrake is a place where a lot of iris grows.

The iris was used by the French Kings as a heraldic symbol – a picture that is on shields – and it is what the fleur –de-lys emblem.

by Alison Tyler