Crested Iris Plant
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Crested Iris - Iris cristata
The Crested Iris is a plant that is often found in the Northeastern part of the United States and throughout zones three through nine. This attractive perennial only gets about nine inches tall and spreads out about a foot from the main trunk. The plant often flowers in April with blue, lavender, or bluish-purple petals that seem like they are floating off from the shoots because the stems are so short. The center of the bloom produces gold colored stamens that provide a bright contrast. The Dwarf Crested Iris, as it is often called, grows quickly filling in large holes in garden beds, around fountains, and in borders. It is named after the Greek Goddess of the rainbow. The dense foliage this plant creates is one of the reasons why it is chosen to fill in areas that are bare. Many people place it in perennial beds. The specimen prefers completely sunny conditions, but it will flourish in partial shade as well.
The Crested Iris forms six-inch leaves that are narrow and shaped similar to a sword blade that can be yellowish-green to a medium green. It naturally grows in areas South of the Mississippi and Georgia, and it is often found from Maine to Oklahoma. It likes to grow on rocky outcrops, hilly areas, cliffs, and near streams. The Iris prefers moist soils that drain fairly well like rock beds, sandy ground, and gravel gardens. The plant tolerates some drought conditions as long as the dry period is followed by plenty of rain and the soil can dry out fairly quick. Many animals and insects flock to the specimen because of the beautiful blue color that blooms provide throughout the summer. The plant attracts birds of various species, deer, and bees. One of the best things about the Iris is that it holds up to deer very well and thrives even when the leaves are eaten.
Crested Iris- Iris cristata
The Crested Iris is a beautiful, delicate plant that commonly grows in the Southwest United States. The plant is well known for its wonderful display of flowers that come in a variety of purple hues. The flowers range in color from lavender, lilac, and pale blue. The flowers begin blooming in mid-spring and continue into early summer. Typically, the flower has six petals. There are three petals that point upward called standards and three drooping petals called falls. Each fall has a distinct orange or white crest imprinted on it, which is how the Crested Iris earned its name. The flower is surrounded by thin sword-shaped leaves that grow slightly taller than the flower, which only reaches about six to eight inches in height.
In addition to being a beautiful plant to look at, the Crested Iris is easy to care for. The USDA rates it a Hardiness Zone 3-8. The plant grows best in full or partial shade and prefers moist, but well-drained soil. The plant is capable of growing in full sunlight areas but requires constantly moist soil if placed in this condition. It is generally pest resistant but is known to have problems with slugs and snails. Interestingly, it is also deer resistant because they do not find the leaves tasteful. The leaves can cause skin irritation if touched, so make sure to wear gloves when handling.
While this plant is easy to care for, owners often get discouraged because the iris may not bloom the first year of planting. This is completely normal! Provide the proper shade and soil conditions and the blooms will eventually emerge. After the plant is established, it spreads fairly quickly by underground rhizomes, making it good for ground cover. This plant is a great addition to any home garden that needs a pop of color.
Really taking off
I can't believe how fast it is growing and taking off, its amazing Shauna on Apr 1st 2017
The color is breath taking Unknown on Apr 1st 2017
I am loving watching all my plants growing right now, they are amazing and makes my yard feel full of life. Unknown on Apr 1st 2017
This has been a lovely addition and is doing quite well. The colors are gorgeous and really stand out over others. I love spring time when all my flowers start popping out. Spring lover on Mar 31st 2017
This plant looks good because of the color and large blooms. It has a bright bloom that makes it stand out when it is growing. KS chief lover on Mar 29th 2017
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