Gardening with the Iris Plant
Gardening with the Iris Plant
Iris is the name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Iridaceae. The various Iris species have showy and beautiful flowers which make them popular in gardens and in floral arrangements. The name Iris is derived from the Latin name for rainbow, since Iris flowers exists in an abundance of color variations. The term Iris in not only used to describe the genus, it is also the common name for the comprised species. Sometimes similarly looking showy flowering species from related genera is also called Iris flowers.
If you care for your planted Iris, you can enjoy it for many years to come since it is a perennial flower. Iris flowers growing in warm regions can grow throughout the year, while Iris flowers in colder regions will grow and flower only during the summer. If the climate is very dry and water is scarce, the will Iris will form bulbs. When water is more abundant, the Iris will instead spread via rhizomes. Since Iris can survive even in dry regions, they are very popular in California and Florida. Many Iris species appreciate regions where the nights are cool and the days hot. Ideally, you should plant your Iris in the shade since it can be harmed by strong direct sunlight.
As mentioned above, the Iris flower is showy and very beautiful. It can be obtained in a wide range of color variations. The flower is typically shaped like a fan with six petals. The three inner petals are named “standards”, while the three other petals are named “falls”. The standards will rise above the rest of the flower and try to attract pollinators. Some Iris types have a “beard”, i.e. the upper surface of the outer petals has a beard like feature. This beard is a service for pollinators; since they can land and grab hold of to the beard when they consume nectar.
The Iris smells nice, but the fragrance is not particularly strong. The flower is located on a tall stem and an Iris will typically form a lot of flowers on one single stem. The Iris stems vary between the different Irises and can be hollow as well as solid, and simple and well as branched. The Iris leaves are shaped like small swords.
Delicately blossomed Iris plants are called “Freesisas”. The first Freesias were white and yellow, but today you can purchase hybrids in many different colors. You can for instance select blue, lilac, violet, pink and salmon colored Freesias. Freesisas have a delightful scent.
They are more delicate than the other Iris flowers and you should not plant them in a region where the temperature can drop below 26 degrees. Freesisas are therefore popular indoor plants in the colder regions of the world. If you want to have an Iris that is similar to a Freesia, but with more vivid flowers, you should take a look at the Sparaxis plants. Sparaxis flowers are related to the Freesias, but form even more flamboyant flowers.