Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Crested Iris

Our gardens look pretty good right now. Lots of flowering shrubs, lots of wild flowers.  And sometimes little things tend to get overlooked like today's FFF.  This particular native plant has been in our garden several times, struggles, and then dies, and we replace it when opportunity allows.  It's tough to know what this particular plant needs/wants.  At present it is doing as well as ever in a corner of a front garden bed.  Sunny, but protected from afternoon heat; well-drained, but watered regularly; no competition (important TPP thinks); and lightly mulched.  Why bother?  Well, it's quite a lovely little thing, a small native, Iris cristata the crested iris.  The falls have a crest of tissue under the colored portion, this plant's alternative to a "beard" of hairs.  The whole plant is only a few inches tall and the flower about 1.5 inches in diameter. If you have luck with this species in your garden, let TPP know what you think it likes.


Katherine Wagner-Reiss said...

In the Native Plant Garden of the New York Botanical Garden (zone 7a) in the Bronx, hundreds of dwarf crested iris, in purple and white, grow happily as a tight ground cover under the dappled shade of a huge deciduous tree. Amazing native plant garden, 3.5 acres with nearly 100,000 native plants in a beautiful setting.

The Phytophactor said...

OK it's hard to compete with the NYBG; but yes, well worth visiting. At the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, thousands of English bluebells (Hyacinthoids) make a lawn under an oak savanna, a landscaping idea Mrs. Phactor stole and recreated on a small scale. And we will miss it in flower while traveling.