If you love iris, we have the plants for you. Who knew there were so many native iris species? Hummingbirds and pollinators love them. The iris has long been a beloved garden plant, although the traditionally favorite ‘Bearded Iris’ is not native, the native iris do have a similar flower. Iris have been used as garden plants since at least 1469 BC! For more fascinating iris history, visit https://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2014/6/Iris-A-Brief-History/.
Here is a brief introduction to the 4 native iris species we currently have in stock:
Louisiana Iris is actually a group of iris species, typically native a bit south of us. They are hardy here, deer resistant, and beautiful! Grow them in shallow water or wet soils. Avoid dry soil and give them full sun. The plants we have are labelled as ‘Louisiana Iris’; we believe they are most likely all Iris hexagona.
Copper Iris Iris fulva
These are striking! Their copper color stands out in the landscape. They will grow in average to wet soil and even in the shallow margins of a pond or wetland. Plant in full sun to part shade. Blooms May to June. Will grow in clay if it is moist. Tolerates up to 6″ of standing water. Use in water gardens, bog gardens, pond or stream margins, or moist low spots. May also be grown in borders with consistent moisture. Deer resistant. Iris fulva has been inter-bred with other iris in the Louisiana group to bring in its unique copper color.
Northern Blue Flag Iris versicolor
This is an iris of ponds and wetlands, although it can also grow in ordinary garden soil! It thrives in shallow soil. The flowers are blue with yellow throats. It’s a good alternative to the invasive yellow-flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) found in ponds and wet areas. Blue Flag will reach two to three feet in height and is wonderful in masses. Blooms late spring. It’s foliage is perfect for the wet edges of ponds.
Iris cristata ‘Powder Blue Giant’
A lovely, easy ground-cover plant. It carpets the ground at only six to eight inches, sometimes up to 12″ in height. Powder Blue Giant is vigorous, large flowered selection that was found in the wild in the 1990’s. Grows in shade to part shade in average garden soil. Grow in full to part shade. If planted in sun, the soil should be consistently moist. Iris ‘Powder Blue Giant’ was awarded the American Iris Society’s Award of Merit in 2003 and the Signa Medal in 2005.