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Plant Families / Iris - Other


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Iris - Other

Aside from the popular bearded irises, Siberian, Louisiana or Japanese irises, there is a profusion of very attractive iris species that deserve a spot in the garden. These wildflowers come from every type of environment from desert to swamp and mountain top to grassland. Some are ideal choices for the garden pond or rock garden, others are perfect for regular garden soil.

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Iris brevicaulis (Zigzag Iris)

Considered quite hardy, Iris brevicaulis (Zigzag Iris) is a low-growing perennial with zig-zag stems bearing long, lax and arching, glossy bright green leaves, 10-20 in. long (25-50 cm). In early to mid-spring, blue-purple to pale blue-violet flowers bloom among the leaves. They are often hidden, as the stems are shorter than the leaves.

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Iris chrysographes (Gold-Marked Iris)

Slightly fragrant, Iris chrysographes (Gold-Marked Iris) is an herbaceous perennial forming a clump of narrow, gray-green leaves. In late spring to early summer, stunning, velvety, deep red-purple or purple-black flowers, 2-4 in. wide (5-10 cm), with gold etching on the falls, are borne on branched stems above the foliage. Native to Southern China and Myanmar, this beardless rhizomatous iris enjoys abundant moisture and is well-suited to bog gardens, or beside the water.

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Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris)

Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris) is a low-growing perennial forming a quickly spreading mat of narrow, sword-shaped, bright green, pointed leaves. Myriads of small, light violet-blue flowers, up to 1.5 in. across (4 cm), adorned with a conspicuous white splotch and gold crest on each fall, appear in mid-spring, just above the foliage tips in perfect display.

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Iris domestica 'Freckle Face' (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica 'Freckle Face' (Blackberry Lily) is an erect, rhizomatous perennial boasting showy sprays of 3-12 brilliant orange flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with 6 flaring petals of equal size that are peppered with deep red spots. Blooming in mid to late summer, each flower usually lasts only a day, but the plant produces a succession of blooms over a period of several weeks.

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Iris domestica 'Hello Yellow' (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica 'Hello Yellow' (Blackberry Lily) is an erect, rhizomatous perennial boasting showy sprays of 3-12 brilliant golden-yellow flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with 6 flaring petals of equal size. Blooming in mid to late summer, each flower usually lasts only a day, but the plant produces a succession of blooms over a period of several weeks.

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Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily) is an erect, rhizomatous perennial boasting showy sprays of 3-12 reddish-orange flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with 6 flaring petals of equal size that are peppered with deep red spots. Blooming in mid to late summer, each flower usually lasts only a day, but the plant produces a succession of blooms over a period of several weeks.

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Iris douglasiana 'Canyon Snow' (Douglas Iris)

Introduced in 1975 by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Iris douglasiana 'Canyon Snow' (Douglas Iris) is a slowly spreading, rhizomatous evergreen perennial forming clumps of sword-shaped, bright shiny green leaves. Branched stems rise from the clumps in spring, each of them boasting large orchid-like flowers, 4-5 in. across (10-12 cm), adorned with brilliant yellow markings on each petal.

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Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris)

Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris) is a slowly spreading rhizomatous evergreen perennial forming clumps of sword-shaped, arching, dark green leaves. Branched stems rise from the clumps in spring, each of them boasting usually blue flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm), although the flowers can be variable in color, ranging from pale cream to yellow to reddish purple.

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Iris foetidissima 'Variegata' (Variegated Stinking Iris)

Noted for its terrific foliage and showy fruit, Iris foetidissima 'Variegata' (Stinking Iris) is an evergreen perennial with small, pale lavender, yellow-tinged, beardless flowers in late spring. Rising atop upright stems, they are followed by attractive, disproportionately large seed pods which mature over the summer and burst open in early fall to reveal showy, brilliant orange-red seeds.

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Iris foetidissima (Stinking Iris)

Noted for its terrific foliage and showy fruit, Iris foetidissima (Stinking Iris) is an evergreen perennial with small, pale lavender, yellow-tinged, beardless flowers in late spring. Rising atop upright stems, they are followed by attractive, disproportionately large seed pods which mature over the summer and burst open in early fall to reveal showy, brilliant orange-red seeds.

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Iris fulva (Copper Iris)

Perfect for standing water, Iris fulva (Copper Iris) is a striking perennial with unusual, flat-topped, beardless flowers, up to 3 in. across (7 cm), the warm color of copper, terracotta, brick-red, and sometimes yellow. Blooming in late spring to early summer, they rise atop upright stakes reaching 2-3 ft. (60-90 cm). The beauty of the flowers attracts hummingbirds.

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Iris hexagona (Dixie Iris)

Iris hexagona (Dixie Iris) is a rhizomatous perennial boasting delicate blue to violet (rarely white) flowers, 3.5 in. (9 cm), in mid to late spring. The mildly fragrant flowers feature three smaller and narrower standards (petals) than the three widely spreading and arching falls (sepals). The signal is a rich yellow stripe or spot on the central ridge. The blossoms are carried on stems above the foliage clump of stiffly erect, yellow-green to bright green, sword-shaped leaves, 2-3 ft. long (60-90 cm). The leaves wither and die after flowering, but new leaves emerge in fall for the following year.

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Iris japonica (Fringed Iris)

Iris japonica (Fringed Iris) is an evergreen rhizomatous perennial with white or pale blue, orchid-like flowers, up to 2 in. across (5 cm), adorned with deep purple and conspicuous orange crests on each fringed fall. Blooming profusely in late spring to early summer, they are borne on branched stems and rise above handsome fans of glossy, sword-shaped, evergreen foliage.

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Iris lactea (Milky Iris)

Iris lactea (Milky Iris) is a clump-forming, rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial boasting fragrant, white, lavender, or blue flowers, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm), with beautifully veined falls. Blooming in late spring to early summer, 2–4 blossoms per stem, are borne atop stalks that arise from clumps of erect, linear, gray-green leaves. Native to Central Asia, the Himalayas, Mongolia, and Korea, this small rhizomatous perennial prefers a sunny situation on dry to moderately moist soil.

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Iris laevigata 'Variegata' (Water Iris)

Perfect for standing water, Iris laevigata 'Variegata', commonly known as Water Iris, is fabulous looking with its display of rich, blue-purple flowers, 4 in. across (10 cm), with broad pendant falls exhibiting a white central ridge and slightly narrower, upright standards

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