I love all types of Irises, and am slowly becoming a collector of different species of these unique flowers in the garden. Iris is the Greek word for rainbow, referring to the myriad of colors of the flowers occurring in the wild. In Greek mythology, Iris is a messenger of the Gods, connecting humanity to the divine through rainbows.
|Iris pseudoacorus (Sweet Flag Iris)|
I have Irises in many areas in the garden, in both the front and back yards. The Japanese Sweet Flag Iris (above) is one of my favorites, and thrives in a tough spot where the clay soil floods in winter. After the flowers fade, seed pods appear that, when mature, can be collected for new plants. I germinated a dozen seeds in the greenhouse last fall and had 6 new plants for this spring... not too bad. German Bearded Irises are also a favorite, and I am always amazed at the new color choices every year. I can put these plants anywhere, even on a side of a ditch, and they thrive. The foliage is semi-evergreen here, and some, like 'Immortality' and 'Well Endowed' are reblooming, flowering in early May and giving another show in late summer.
Above, the jet black buds and rich blooms of Iris germanica 'Gypsy Romance' (German Bearded Iris)
Another unknown cultivar of Iris germanica is blooming at the end of the vegetable bed. A mid-afternoon shower provided a great opportunity for dew-covered pictures.
A great rebloomer with outstanding evergreen foliage worthy of the front landscape, Iris germanica 'Immortality' is pure white, with a yellow "beard".
I also have started a collection of Siberian Irises, Iris siberica. These beauties have a thin, sword-like foliage and delicate flowers. I purchased I. siberica 'Caesars Brother' (left) and 'Butter and Sugar' on clearance last fall and just discovered the beauty of these in the last few days!
|A grouping of Japanese Irises (from left to right): Iris pseudoacorus 'variegata' (Varigated Yellow Flag Iris) yet to bloom, Yellow Flag Iris, and Iris versicolor (Blue Flag Iris)|
"Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest, who, armed with golden rod and winged with the celestial azure, bearest the message of some God." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from Iris