July 6, 2009
Mugshots: 4 Siberian Iris
Four of my siberian iris plants bloomed last month. 'June to Remember' is pictured above. The intense blue of these flowers really catches my eye in the garden, and their elegant carriage reminds me of butterflies. I ordered this plant two years ago from Joe Pye Weed's Garden, a small nursery in Massachusetts that specializes in siberian iris and hybridizes new types each year. Click on the nursery name to get to their website.
Here is a different view of the blooms. I look forward to the great display I'll enjoy in a few years, when the 25 inch tall clump gets wider. One drawback to these plants is that they bloom for a relatively short period each year. However, siberian iris leaves form grass-like clumps that are good low-allergy substitutes for ornamental grasses in my garden design.
The blue-violet flower above comes from 'Worth the Wait', another iris that came from JPW's Garden. These deep colors make my heart skip a beat.
And here is a view from above the flower. 'Worth the Wait' grows to 34 inches high and is supposed to rebloom, though my young plant hasn't done so yet. Siberian iris take a couple of years to get established. All of my plants have been transplanted at least once, which has set them back, poor things!
This white flower is 'Rolling Cloud', also from JPW's Garden. It grows to be 29 inches tall and has a touch of yellow around the base of the petals. Siberian iris grow well in full sun to part shade, and I've learned from experience that they don't appreciate intense heat or very dry conditions (though they don't need as much water as Louisiana or Japanese iris).
These last three pictures are 'Tanz Nochmal'. You can see that it's very similar to 'June to Remember', though the color is less saturated and has a touch more turquoise in it. The standards (the top part of the flower) are a little lighter than the falls (the bottom of the flower). The blooms on all of my siberian iris plants are about 4 inches wide.
I also have little starts of 'Blueberry Fair' and 'Just Because' siberian irises in my garden. I received these from Schreiner's Iris last fall, and they didn't bloom this year. Siberian iris have a great range of colors, but I've been drawn to the blues. Pictures of 'Blueberry Fair' on Schreiner's website show that it will probably be very similar to 'June to Remember'. 'Just Because' is a lighter blue-violet than 'Worth the Wait'.
If you're looking for low-allergy, upright forms for your garden and are willing to be patient for a couple of years while they get established (though they'd grow faster in areas with longer growing seasons than mine), siberian iris would be a nice addition to your garden. Check out JPW Garden and Schreiner's Iris Nursery to see more information and options.