Field of Science

Under planted perennials & Friday Fabulous Flower - Iris reticulata

Why not double our fun by having a FFF and presenting another under planted perennial at the same time?  This will be accomplished by highlighting Iris reticulata, a species of iris that grows like a crocus.  Rather than having a rhizome, this iris has a small bulb/corm; it will form clumps, but not spread like it would with a rhizome.  So far in TPP's experience, this little iris naturalizes very well.  You plant it just like crocus, and it flowers at about the same time of year, early spring.  The long narrow leaves hang around for awhile and then it goes dormant until next spring.  Like many small bulb flowers, planting it in clusters and sprays gives you more impressive displays.  After all it's only about 10-15 cm tall at flowering.  Everyone has room for more flowers like this; they are so showy and so cheerful.  It's also relatively cheap; you can buy 100 bulbs for something like $12.  So why isn't this more commonly planted?  Can't say.  TPP has a couple of very nice images, but they're in the laptop and the home internet connection is down, again, and not to speak ill of the provider by name, but these bumskis can't possibly be the frontier of the communications network (topic of another post perhaps).  This image is from the Creative Commons and credited to Hedwig Storch.

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