Crested Iris Plant
- Dwarf Crested Iris - Iris cristata Hardy Planting Zones- 5-7 Sun or Shade – Shade and Part Shade Mature Height - 6" Mature Width- 2.5" Bloom Season – Spring (March thru May Gardener Status- Beginner
Crested Iris Plant - Iris cristata
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, proliferates 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 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 reasonably 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 quickly. 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.
Iris Crista or Dwarf Crested Iris appear as a miniature iris. They are the classic purple and are short-stemmed, low growing to 6" and require full sun and light watering to keep them healthy. Their soil should be a balance that should moderately rich. They spread easily and will continue to spread until dug up and separated.