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Iris cristata is most significant as it’s use as ground cover. Iris cristata produces beautiful flowers and it is hardy enough to live in a wide variety of climates and conditions (USDA 2012). Even when it is not flowering the leaves are still very pretty ground cover. Iris cristata widely used in rock and shade gardens because they grow well in that type of environment. Iris cristata is also toxic causing stomach ache and vomiting if ingested, and possibly skin irritation if touched (Eland 2008). Despite this it was used by Cherokee native Americans as an herbal medicine. The root was pulverized then used as a salve for ulcers and an infusion tea was made that would supposedly improve liver health. There was also decoction of the root that was used for yellowish urine. The roots have also been used as a spice, and in the 19th century Virginia hunters would use them as a thirst aid (Hamel 1975).


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