Iris is an exotic flower, with deep colored blossoms of extraordinary shape. The flower is made of 3 inner petals that arch up and 3 outer ones that fall down. The most common types are florist iris also known as Dutch iris, and then there is the more elegant Siberian iris and the huge, showy type called the bearded iris. The bearded iris has a fluffy, bright colored strip next to the fallen lower petals called the beard. This little beard draws bees towards the blossom for pollination.
Iris reticulate is the miniature variety that reaches only 4 to 6 inches in height. They can also be enforced to bloom indoors in the winter months.
Iris is supposed to be cut or bought when it is in the bud stage. The blossoms open rapidly and last for a few days only. The buds must be of good color and size and feel a bit stiff to the touch. If the tip seems dry or discolored, the blossom won’t open. Aged irises are fully open, and their tips may possibly have begun to dry and fade.
Iris blossoms look beautiful when arranged in their natural form, although they also do well when combined with different flowers as an accent of effervescent color and texture. Their distinctive shape and structure allows appropriate spacing for other flowers to be included in and around them to make an excellent arrangement.
Few interesting facts about Iris:
Name: Iris, Fleur-de-Lis.
Variety: The widespread one is Dutch iris, bearded variety with large flowers, and Siberian iris.
Colors: Different shades and combinations are available. The inner portion of the flower and the outer petals are at times in different colors combinations than the main color of the flower. The Dutch Iris is commonly available in dark blue and purple with a pinch of yellow.
Freshness: Buy or cut in bud stage. Iris open fast but the flowers don’t last long.
Scent: The common iris does not have any scent; few varieties do have a sweet fragrance.
Vase Life: Three to Five days.
Availability: The prime season is early summer and late spring, except the Dutch iris which is available throughout the year as a cut flower.
Cost: Economical to moderately priced.
Meaning: “I have a message for you.”
Arranging Tip: Iris flowers have a distinctive shape and structure, they are useful in floral arrangements by accenting flowers and their shape provides support to other flowers.
Growing Tip: Iris rapidly multiply and reach their flowering peak in around the third year of planting, so they need to be divided every few years to carry on flowering, their foliage does not discolor or fade away after they have bloomed. The sword like, tall blades stay green and are an eye-catching accent in the garden.
Few Iris varieties available with us are: