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Dramatic & Delightful, In Bloom Now At The IMA

Today's guest blogger is Anne Furlong, an intern in the IMA's Horticulture Department.

The dramatic and delightful iris. Few other flowers provide blossoms for as long and as often as the iris does. They come in a wide array of colors, sizes and styles. The standard, tall, bearded iris is most common though exotic and dwarf iris varieties do exist. Have no fear, there is an iris variety that will surely satisfy your gardening needs.

A Yellow itis flower A yellow iris flower

Iris ensata, known more commonly as the Japanese Iris, is found on the grounds in several places and is usually deep blue. Red, yellow, white, purple and multicolored blossoms can also be seen around the campus.

iris9 iris7

The Iris is a member of the Iridaceae family. There are nearly 300 different cultivars with new cultivars being produced all the time. The bearded iris are one of the most common kind of iris and are given the name because of the ‘beard’ of hairs visible in the middle of the falls or downward facing petals.

A Bearded Iris

A Bearded Iris

These perennial plants are hardy in zones 4-9 and do best in full sun with some afternoon shade. Rich, acidic, moist soil is the ideal growing conditions for iris and they are usually even happier when planted near water. The earliest iris to bloom will flower as soon as February and some will continue to flower until late summer.

An iris planted near a small pond Budding iris flowers

There are many different kinds of Iris found on the IMA Campus and around the grounds. The rain garden, orchard, formal garden, ravine garden and the garden for everyone all are home to at least one type of iris. Look to these beauties to add spectacular spring color and interest to your own garden!

A planted white iris

Iris come in variety of colors and sizes

IMA Garden Map IRIS

A map blooming iris on the IMA campus

Filed under: Horticulture

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