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IRIS histrioides

Image of Iris histrioides

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

IRIS histrioides

Plant Common Name

Rock Iris

General Description

Of the many dwarf bulbous irises that ornament the garden in late winter and early spring, none is larger or more beautiful than this gem from central Turkey. Arising on ankle-high "stems," its blooms have three royal-blue, spreading, oval, petal-like falls, alternating with three upright, slender, paddle-shaped standards. Three petal-like style arms hug the lower portion of the falls. A yellow ridge runs from the base to the midpoint of each fall, surrounded by an oval zone of white and blue splotches. Linear, four-sided leaves emerge with the flowers. The plant grows from a small teardrop-shaped bulb covered with a tawny, fibrous tunic.

This charming and cheerful bulb does best in full sun and fertile well-drained soil, and requires 2 or more months of winter chill to grow and flower well. Use this lovely iris in rock gardens, bedding displays, or the foreground of the perennial border. It is also good for forcing in pots. A parent of many beautiful hybrids including those often placed under Iris reticulata, it has also represented by several outstanding cultivars including the large, deep-blue-flowered 'Major.'

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm

  • Native To

    Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Blue, Purple

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No