Ships Third Week of September 2020 Only 10 available
In the fall of 2019, I was having a conversation with a friend about plants that are misunderstood. Nearly at the same time, we said Iris. There are 300 Iris species in the world, but for so many of us, the images when the flower Iris is mentioned is a purple tone Iris germanica only. Often, I say we should look at plants similar to people. Don't lump plants together all in one category. Look at them as individuals.
This collection is created to show the best of Iris. Two of the Iris offered in this collection are brand new to the garden, and one is nearly impossible to find.
Iris domestica (formerly known as Belamcanda chinensis) - This is where common names don't work. The common name for these is Blackberry lily, but the plant has no relationship to lilies at all. To make it more confusing, this plant was another genus all together, Belamcanda chinensis. Until 2005, a genetic test revealed it to be in the family -- wait for it -- Iridaceae. The five plants offered in this collection will make any garden immediately better.
Despite all of the family confusion, this plant has not been used in gardens as much as it should be by gardeners. It is a stunning late summer flowering perennial. The whimsical flowers sit atop sword-shaped foliage for weeks and weeks. Every pollinator in the garden visits these flowers multiple times a day. In the fall, the gorgeous green seed pod begin to dry and reveal a seed head that resembles a blackberry. Hence, bringing us full circle to the common name Blackberry lily, or more appropriate Blackberry iris.
Iris germanica 'Mystic Dragons' - One of the most captivating Iris germanica I've ever grown. Every year I try to find an Iris that will make me love them even more and 'Mystic Dragon' did that in 2020. Just an unbeleivable color blend of brown, mauve, cream, to a buttery white. Flower stems that carry three to five flowers and last for well over a week.
Iris ensata 'Lion King' - Japanese iris are the true queens of the Iris world. Unlike Iris germanica Iris ensata are a true gardeners plant. They thrive in even moist nutrient rich soil. If given what they like few plants can compare. 'Lion King' is a breathtaking Japanese Iris. The flowers can be up to 7' across and blooms well after Iris germanica is finished. The purple tone of this cultivar is the perfect intensity to allow the garden to transition from spring to summer. Under appreciated is also how healthy the foliage of Iris ensata looks even at the late stages of summer.
Iris domestica 'Freckle Face' - As we shouldn't lump all iris together neither should we lump all Iris domestica together. 'Freckle Face' is a much more compact and short Iris domestica selection. It also has six overlapping petals that creates a more robust flower. It also is far less likely to ever need staking. My favorite thing is to watch the humming birds and butterflies dart back and fourth over these flowers.
Iris pseudata 'Yarai' - Have I mentioned how much i love what's happening in the world of iris breeding? Here is another example of how we are bringing the best of two different iris species and creating new varieties. 'Yarai' takes the habit of Iris pseudacorus, flag iris, with its' exagerated large falls and combines it with the heavy flowering habit of Iris ensata to create something beautifully new. The near taupe color of the flowers is edged by a purple mauve veining that is spectacular. the flowers can also be held as high as 3' in the air. Again like its' parents 'Yarai' will appreciate garden soil with even moisture.
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.