Iris spuria, commonly known as blue iris or butterfly iris, is a large and robust species of iris native to a broad range from central and southern Europe. It thrives in various habitats, including grasslands, wetlands, and the Mediterranean region.
Size: Spuria Iris showcases a tall, upright growth habit, with plants commonly reaching 2-4 feet (60-120 cm) tall, although some hybrids can reach up to 5 feet (150 cm). The plant’s leaves are sword-like, providing an attractive vertical element in the landscape even when the plant is not in bloom.
Flowers: The flowers of Iris spuria are notably large, up to 6 inches wide (15 cm), and graceful. They come in a range of colors, from white and yellow to blue, violet, and even brown. Each stem can carry multiple flowers, which display the classic iris form with three standards and three falls.
Bloom time: Spuria Irises typically bloom in late spring to early summer, later than most other irises, extending the iris blooming season in the garden.
Hardiness: These irises are hardy in USDA zones 3-9, demonstrating adaptability to a range of climates. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil, and once established, they are quite drought-tolerant.
Uses: Spuria Irises are often used in the back of flower beds and borders due to their height. They also make excellent cut flowers.
Pollinators: Iris spuria flowers are attractive to a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.
Deer and rabbits: The plant’s rhizomes and foliage are generally avoided by deer and rabbits. Note that like many irises, Spuria Iris is toxic if ingested.