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Iris Pumila

Height: 4"-6" (10-15cm) Tall

Exposure: Full Sun

Soil: Well Drained

Hardiness: Zone 2-8

Bloom Time: Early to Mid Summer for 2-3 Weeks

Uses: Bedding, Landscape & Containers

Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow. In mythology, the goddess Iris, who was
Juno’s personal messenger, traveled over the rainbow to reach earth. Brightly coloured
flowers sprung up from her footsteps. In the 1100’s, King Louis VII of France named the
Siberian Iris his ‘fleur-de-Louis’. It is now known as the fleur-de-lis and is featured on
the flag of the province of Quebec.


Is it not fitting that a flower so loved by royalty and myth alike should find a place in your
designs? Although the spectacular flowers of the iris last but for a short time, they are a must
in every sunny garden. Regal and delicate at the same time, the iris is very hardy and will grow
as a clump each year, allowing you to share with friends when you divide them.

Is it not fitting that a flower so loved by royalty and myth alike should find a place in your designs?
Although the spectacular flowers of the iris last but for a short time, they are a must in every
sunny garden. Regal and delicate at the same time, the iris is very hardy and will grow as a clump
each year, allowing you to share with friends when you divide them.

Iris have orchid-like flowers. Nine to 12 buds are usually found growing on short side branches on
each stem. Each blossom lasts about three days. The three upright petals are called standards.
Three sepals hand downward and are known as falls. Iris may have standards and falls of the same
color or standards may be one colour and falls a different colour. Principal iris colours are lavender,
blue, white, purple, rose-red, yellow, pink, brown or various combinations and blends of these
colours. The beard is the fuzzy, fringed appendage above the falls.

The two major requirements for successfully growing all classes of bearded iris are full sun and
good
drainage. The plants grow well in almost any good garden soil, but are less susceptible to
disease, such as root rot, in soils of only moderate fertility. Extremely heavy, rich soils tend to
produce soft growth. This increases problems with root rot, the most serious problem with iris.
Iris should not be crowded by other plants that over-shadow or mat closely about root and foliage.
Keep iris free of weeds by practicing clean, shallow cultivation. Free air movement in and about
iris plants is the best insurance against foliage diseases.

Bearded iris and many of the beardless types grow from an underground structure called a rhizome.
This is a fleshy stem from which extend the true, stringy roots. These rhizomes branch and in time
overgrow and crowd each other so that it is necessary to dig and divide every three to four years
under ordinary culture. The division should be reduced to a single, current-season rhizome with a
single fan of leaves. Cut the leaves back to a length of 6 to 9 inches. Always discard weak or
diseased parts.

Set the division in a shallow hole large enough to accommodate the division and the attached
fibrous roots. Cover the top of the rhizome with only 1/2 inch of soil. Depth of planting is
particularly important in heavy, clay soils where drainage may be impeded.

Plant four to six single divisions 12 to 15 inches apart to form a group. Iris groups should
space about 4 feet apart. If set closer, plants will become crowded quicker and have to be
reset more often. Planting seed is not practical for the amateur. Iris does not come true from
seed!

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