A large genus of over 200 species from the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Named in honor of “Iris” the Greek Goddess of the rainbow. Each flower has 6 petals the three outer ones called the “Falls” and the inner three called the “Standards”.
They are divided into two main groups, Rhizomatus and Bulbous there has been many hybrids produced worldwide making this a very extensive, diverse and exciting group of plants.
The Rhizomatus Iris from the Mediterranean, Asia and USA are generally frost hardy and prefer a sunny position and regular water during their growing season, but kept on the dry side while dormant.
The Bulbous Iris which include the Juno and Reticulata group containing some very beautiful, very desirable and often more difficult to grow, are native to Western and Central Asia. The Xiphium Iris from this group are from the Mediterranean have given us the English, Spanish and Dutch Iris commonly used in Florist shops. Both the Rhizomatus and Bulbous groups mostly require a good complete fertiliser and Lime. The Ensata Iris group from Japan do not tolerate Lime at all!!