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.


  1. Oh VW I like those blues!!! Tanz Nochmal is great and the first one --June to Remember --two great shades of blues.

  2. VW, What luscious blues! I love 'June to Remember' especially. It's the flash of white that really makes the blue pop.

    These flowers seem fuller than the Siberians I'm used to seeing. Are they a special strain? I'll have to check out the sites to see if they ship to Canada.

  3. 'June to Remember' is a stunner! I've been trying to upgrade my Siberian Iris collection, and I could use a good blue like that. I'll have to check it out.

  4. I love your gardening blog. I'm new to gardening and appreciate all that I can learn from you garden experts.

    As someone who enjoys photography too, I love your photos.

  5. 'June to Remember' looks a true blue.

    I really like the colour of 'Tanz Nochmal'. Sky blue I guess.

    Standard and falls eh, It's good to learn a correct bit of terminology.


  6. These really are the most lovely pictures - looking forward to more when I next visit!

  7. VW ... I have those very iris in the first picture .. BUT .. while the deck guys were building said deck .. they trample the earth so hard (of course I didn't hink to dig up and move the iris at the time) .. well the ground is like cement .. the "leaves" have fought their way up along with the ferns and ivy .. but I just don't know if I will ever have blooms from them again .. talk about a "duh ?" moment in my garden life.
    I have two patchs of Blue Flag iris I just planted by my playhouse .. with Karl F. feather reed grass .. I'm hoping they will be happy and multipy .. a lot !! LOL
    I am not a fan of bearded iris but these ones steal my heart .. I need to buy some white ones now : )

  8. I love siberian iris, but knew nothing about the different cultivars. As always, your posts are informative.

    I know from your posts that you get a lot of your plants mail order. Is that because you can't find exactly what you want at your local nurseries, or do you feel the quality is superior?

  9. Susan - I do order a lot by mail because I love looking at a catalog with a full line of english roses, iris, hostas, daylilies, etc. and trying to find just the perfect ones for my garden. I often make mistakes when buying plants from the nursery without researching and thinking about them for a while, but if I delay, the nursery might sell out of the ones I want. I like poring over catalogs, researching interesting plants on the internet, waiting for a few weeks or months to make sure it really sounds like a good idea, then ordering. This year I have discovered that the nursery near my house (Gibson's) can order many of the perennials that catch my eye in catalogs - and then I get a larger plant for a lower price and don't pay shipping. So I've been doing a lot of that lately.

  10. Nice flowers. Thanks for sharing.

    clipping path

  11. I can see why you only have 4 Siberian Iris..they are a bit pricey, huh? It is hard to decided between siberian, japanese and bearded iris. Had Tall bearded before and they needed dividing bad. Dug them all up and gave them away. Saved some for myself but life got in the way and I never got around to replanting them right away and they shriveled up, so I figured they were no longer good and threw them out. My French Friend just got around to planting hers that I gave her this week and she said I should not have thrown mine out. Anything she puts in the ground grows for her! Which variety do you prefer?

  12. Hello;

    Some of my favorite "blues" to complement your collection from Schafer/Sacks are Countess Cathleen,Sea of Dreams,and Ships are Sailing.
    Sea of Dreams is a rebloomer in my Minnesota garden. Ships are Sailing seedlings have also had this trait.


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