Oregon Iris (Iris "rainbow" tenax"holding fast"--isn't that a beautiful name? and what an interesting image, a "rainbow holding fast") is blooming everywhere! They love dry sunny meadows, road edges, and even grassy clearcuts. They seem to grow very easily from seed, and spread quickly. The bloom opens up with a deep thistle purple, then gradually fades to pale lavendar. They also have pretty dark brown seed pods in late summer.
David Douglas, a Scottish botanist, came to the Pacific Northwest in 1824 to "discover" new plants(the Douglas Fir is named for him). He reports seeing Native Americans braiding these iris leaves into snares--for anything, rabbits and ELK!!