Friday, December 6, 2019

Iris flower plant

Irises are among the most popular and beautiful garden flowers for Midwest landscapes. The flower takes its name from the Greek goddess Iris who, according to legend, walked a rainbow pathway through the sky. Four thousand years ago in Crete, the iris was the prized possession of the priest and prince. To the Egyptians the iris stood as a symbol of majesty and power.

Iris flowers have six petals. The three upright petals are called “standards and the three that hang down are called “falls.” The lower part of both of the falls and of the standards is usually called the haft and over the haft of each fall arches one of the three branches of the style. Each branch ends in two, more or less divergent, triangular crests and under them is the stigma to which the pollen must be conveyed to fertilize the flower.

Flowers may be white, yellow, pink, purple, blue, reddish or bicolored. The genus is composed of 200 or more species which are separated into two major groups: rhizomatous and bulbous.

Irises have been used for centuries, not only ornamentally, but also as a source for making perfumes and in heraldry. Most of the species of the genus belong to the rhizomatous plant groups that are used in gardening for potting and bedding.

The best time to plant rhizomatous irises is late July to early September. Later planting may not allow adequate time for plants to become established. Irises prefer a sunny, well-drained location. Never plant irises where water will stand on the bed.

Rhizomes grow slightly below the surface of the ground or at ground level. Many small roots penetrate the soil deeply. Every year, underground offshoots develop from the original rhizome. Offshoots may be divided and transplanted to grow new irises.

Iris plants range in height from just a few inches to over 3 feet and are adapted to a variety of environmental conditions. Irises need full sunshine. Select a site with southern exposure and good air circulation. Bearded and crested irises need lime soil with good drainage; rhizomes may rot in soil that holds water around them. Beardless types need moist soil that is slightly acid.
Iris flower plant

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