Plant Profiler

Blue flag (Iris versicolor)

Blue flag (Iris versicolor) Image
Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
American blue flag, beta-sitosterol fatty acids, blue flag iris, clajeux (French), dagger flower, dragon flavonoids, flower, flag lilly, flag lily, fleur-de-lis (French), flower-de-luce (French), furfural, gum, harlequin blueflag, Iridaceae (family), iridin, irigenin, irilone-4'-glucoside, Iris caroliniana Watson, Iris versicolor, iris versicolore (French), irisin, irisolone-4'-bioside, isoflavonoids, isophthalic acid, kosatec strakat (Slovak), Lis met Bontkleurige Bloem (Dutch), liver lily, oleoresin, phytosterols, poison flag, purple flag, resin, salicylic acid, sciatica, snake lily, starch, sugars, tannin, triterpenoids, water flag, water iris, wild iris.

Mechanism of Action


  • Constituents: Isophthalic acid, salicylic acid, beta-sitosterol fatty acids, flavonoids, furfural, gum, irigenin, irilone-4'-glucoside, irisolone-4'-bioside, isoflavonoids, oleoresin (iridin), phytosterols, resin, starch, sugars, tannins, triterpenoids (notably iriversical), volatile oil have been extracted from blue flag.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Blue flag may have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Gastrointestinal effects: Blue flag may cause vomiting or catharsis, possibly due to iridin, a bitter and nauseating rhizome constituent that may have diuretic and laxative properties. Blue flag contains tannins, which may inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Neurologic/CNS effects: Traditional herbal texts suggest the phenolic glycosides in blue flag stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to production of bile, saliva, and sweat. However, high-quality clinical trials have not confirmed these effects for blue flag.


  • Insufficient available evidence.

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