Iris unguicularis

by Jane on January 10, 2012

Here is a little winter wonder! Apart from all those annuals which are still flowering (just about) in all our gardens this winter because of the mellow weather.

Iris unguicularis is a messy tangle of green leaves for most of the year, hiding at the bottom of my house wall and taking up space in the front ‘show-off’ part of the garden that should probably be used by something else. But in January it produces these fantastic flowers and all is forgiven!

Two iris unguicularis flowers
‘Mary Barnard’ and ‘Walter Butt’ are favoured varieties of this plant, however I think this one is the species one, bought from a Gardener’s World offer awhile ago. They like dry sheltered sites in the sun and need protection (eg from being next to a wall) from rain for the flowers to look good. I haven’t found this to be a problem, but you are advised to bring the buds in to open if it is.

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