This is Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata). It is native to this area.
Dwarf Crested Iris have really short stems, only one or two inches. It is three or four inches tall to the top of the flower. It has a faint fragrance.
This is the most common color, but I have seen them darker purple or paler, almost blue or nearly white. I’ve been told they can be pink, too, but I’ve never seen it.
You can find this in the meadow areas up in the forest.
These were on the side of the gravel road that connects Mills River Recreation Area with the Blue Ridge Parkway.
They sell Dwarf Crested Iris and hybrid variations.