Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

“Blue” iris

with 20 comments

From the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12th, here’s a flower and then a leaf of a blue iris, Iris versicolor. (Of course I see the flower as purple, not blue.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 10, 2018 at 4:48 AM

20 Responses

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  1. i love the color of this


    July 10, 2018 at 4:56 AM

  2. Yes, the shapes and color are very pleasing, regardless of what they are called.


    July 10, 2018 at 7:41 AM

  3. Gorgeous close-ups, Steve. The color and veins in the petal are fabulous. Terrific work.

    Jane Lurie

    July 10, 2018 at 7:47 PM

    • I’m glad you like it, Jane. Somehow I managed to stop down to f/11 and that let me get all of the front “ridge” of the flower in focus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2018 at 9:40 PM

  4. The juxtaposition of the veins in the flower and the tiny dots on the leaf is perfect. Points and lines: geometry in a garden!

    I especially like the implied “X” in the photo of the leaf. If “X” does mark the spot, I suspect this one marked a particularly lovely one.


    July 10, 2018 at 9:54 PM

    • The X that you mentioned (and is conveniently a letter in juxtaposition) is one of the reasons I like the leaf picture. I’d considered saying something about it in the text but decided to let people see it for themselves (or not). Another reason I like the second image is the many dots you also pointed out (yes, that’s a play on words). I guess it goes without saying that I don’t need much or any encouragement to play around with geometry.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2018 at 10:03 PM

  5. I see purple, too. And beauty.


    July 10, 2018 at 11:23 PM

  6. I like the light in both of these!!


    July 11, 2018 at 7:15 AM

    • So do I, even though the light was low in some parts of the garden and I had to use wider apertures than I would’ve liked.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2018 at 7:23 AM

  7. I, too, perceive the color of iris as purple rather than blue, Steve. But either way, it is beautiful.


    July 11, 2018 at 4:11 PM

  8. Iris pallida looks blue at times and purple at times. I think that it depends on the context. I prefer to think of them as blue, just because I do not like purple much, and my old Iris pallida is probably my all time favorite of the ‘bearded’ iris. (I am not sure if they are classified as a bearded iris.)


    July 11, 2018 at 11:43 PM

    • For me, it’s not a question of preferring purple to blue, but just that I see as purple what some others see as blue. As for the beard, I bring that along no matter what species I’m photographing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 12, 2018 at 5:46 AM

      • If I must choose, I see questionably blue or purple flowers as blue, such as agapanthus, jacaranda and lupines. I think that most people see them as purple or lavender. When the jacarandas bloom, people ask me about the ‘purple’ trees. But then, most people also think that my white beard is gray. It no longer goes to work with me. It is gone now. It might have scurried off back into the forest.


        July 12, 2018 at 9:00 PM

        • It just goes to show that there aren’t hard and fast boundaries between color names, even within a community speaking the same language; differences are greater across languages.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 12, 2018 at 10:25 PM

  9. That is purple to me too … and lovely 🙂


    July 16, 2018 at 12:06 AM

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