Bearded Iris

1 Mar

Bearded Iris (Germanica), 3 ft., large showy flowers in almost every color, blooms mid-summer, naturalizes, deer resistant.

Iris is a large and remarkably diverse group of 200 to 300 species, varying in flower color and form, cultural needs, and blooming periods (although the majority flower in spring or early summer). Leaves are swordlike or grasslike. Flowers (fragrant, in many kinds) are showy and complex in structure.

The most widely grown irises fall into the bearded group. More than a century of breeding has produced a vast array of beautiful hybrids. All have upright standards and flaring to pendent falls that have characteristicepaulettelike beards. Tall bearded irises are the most familiar of these, but they represent just one subdivision of the entire group. Eating any part of these causes gastric upset, and plants have poisoned livestock; in addition, some people get contact dermatitis from handling the rhizomes.

 

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