The meadow is a vibrant and diverse ecosystem, home to a wide variety of native plants. But non-native species like the yellow flag iris can also take root and quickly spread. This plant, with its large, colorful blossoms, was introduced in the late 1700s as a decorative plant. Unfortunately, it’s also very invasive. Yellow flag iris pushes out aquatic plants like cattails and native irises, such as the dwarf-crested iris and the blue flag iris. It’s resistant to deer and other wildlife, so it can quickly take over an area.
This yellow flag iris is actually an invasive species (Rida Allen/Courtesy of Maryland DNR).
The blue flag iris is a native species at risk of being crowded out by invasive species (Evelyn Henderson/Courtesy of Maryland DNR).