~ by Gardnbee ~
Realm ~ Plantae
Family ~ Iridaceae
Genus ~ Iris (from the Greek word for Rainbow)
Iris is a plant that
simply speaks to my heart. Overall there are about 200 to 300 species of
Iris to choose from, but due to windy conditions within our outdoor living
space at times, it became necessary to look for ones that grew less tall.
While searching through various Greenhouses some twenty years ago a
little plant grabbed my attention, it was the Dwarf Iris (pumila) sitting off
to one side, in a seemingly lonely state:) That day 6 plants came home
with me. They have grown abundantly over the years, so much so that
I've been able to share with those individuals who, through mutual attraction,
fell in love with them.
This particular variety of Iris is great for borders, rock gargens, flowerbeds,
and around trees or shrubs as a few examples of planting. They are best
planted in the spring or fall where there is sun to partial shade with average
to rich, well drained earth. They are perennial bulbs that grow nicely in zones
5 to 9 and reach a height of about 4 to 6 inches depending on growing
They take little to no care, are easily propagated through bulb division and
produce low mounds of green leaves that tend to be short at flowering but
elongate to about 12 inches after blooms fade. Bulbs should be divided in
the spring about every 3 to 4 years to keep them looking their best. When
planting, bulbs should be spaced 3 inches deep and at least 6 inches apart.
Foilage should not be cut back before it dies back naturally in order to allow
nutrients to strengthen bulbs.
An interesting fact I've just discovered is that the most important dwarf
ancestor of all our modern Minature Dwarf Bearded (MDB) varities is the
species Iris pumila.
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