Exotic blooms of white are splashed, speckled and edged in rich blue and vivid redviolet hues—fantastic in cut-flower arrangements. Abundant flowers emerge from tidy clumps of swordlike foliage in early summer, attracting beneficial bees to the area…as well as friendly neighbours. Easy to grow and maintain.
Species Notes - Iris ensata
Unlike the Tall Bearded Iris, the beardless Japanese Iris has a flat bloom, narrower leaves, and smaller, more compact rhizomes. They have the largest flowers of all irises, and make wonderful spring accents for the edge of water gardens. Japanese irises are the latest to bloom, about a month after the Siberian irises.
Genus Notes - Iris
The ancient Greeks named Iris in reference to their lively goddess who personifies the rainbow. By similarity, the plant is perhaps best known for its amazing range of colors. Shades and tints are so numerous it is difficult for botanists to accurately differentiate individual hues. Irises are botanically allied with Orchids, Pineapples, Amaryllis, Gingers, and Lilies; the varied collection descended from the same unknown, primeval stock from the beginning of time.
In the Middle Ages, Irises were highly valued for their medicinal benefits and perfumery; these fine "Orrisroots" were said to impart a rich, sweet, violet-like fragrance that relieved innumerable ills. Even today, these garden favorites are prized for their many-colored displays and scents. Different varieties produce a range from grape juice to celery, orange bloom to lily-of-the-valley, and gardenia to anise.
Iris bloom in almost every color under the sun. Their flowers are shapely and elegant, their foliage long and narrow.