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Common Name: Tough-Leaf Iris
Iris tenax is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised[
]. The roots are especially likely to be toxic[
Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people[
Western N. America - Washington to Oregon.
Open prairies, pastures, oak forests, logged land and open areas in coniferous forests, avoiding heavy shade[
]. Dry soils in fields and open woods[
Requires a really well-drained lime-free soil that is dry rather than damp[
]. Succeeds in dry shade according to another report which also says that, once established, it is drought tolerant[
]. Very easy to grow in a lime-free woodland soil[
]. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade[
A very ornamental plant[
Hybridizes freely, especially with other Pacific Coast Irises[
]. Iris tenax hybridizes with I. bracteata, I. chrysophylla, I. douglasiana, I. hartwegii, I. innominata, I. macrosiphon, I. purdyi, and I. tenuissima[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
A tincture of the whole plant, or the bulbous stems, is given in the treatment of bilious vomiting and is recommended for treating depression[
A fibre from the leaves is used in weaving and making ropes[
]. The fibre is buoyant, strong and durable[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. 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, best done in early September after flowering but it can also be done in early spring. 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.