Iris

A Carithers Design Favorite

The incredible Iris is a lovely and colorful flower. A genus of about 260 flowering plants, Iris is the scientific name of this group of flowering plants. This showy plant takes its name from the Greek word for rainbow, and the availability of such a wide variety of colors makes that name very clear. The Greek goddess, Iris, acted as the messenger between the gods and the earth. Her personification was the rainbow. At one time, purple Irises were planted on the graves of women to call the goddess. The many colors available today can add extra meaning when giving the flowers as a gift. Other meanings of this beautiful blossom include faith, hope and wisdom. The Iris is cultivated all over the world and is the state flower of Tennessee. The Fleur-de-lis, which is a representation of the Iris, also became the symbol for France around 1147 and remains so today.

The Iris is propagated from both bulbs and rhizomes, depending on the climate. In wetter climates, the creeping rhizomes dominate while, in drier climates, bulbs are used. The bulbs can be harvested in winter months and divided to be replanted. There are as many as 300 species that have been put into the classification of Iris. Many of these are natural hybrids. There are no real limits to the colors available and there are many different variations on the blooms themselves.

Growing Recommendations - Iris

Since the Iris is a hardy perennial, it isn’t really difficult to grow this lovely and colorful plant. Plant your Iris in the mid-summer to early fall months. In most climates, Iris plants like full sun, but hotter climates should allow for some shade. Plant the bulbs so that the top of the bulb is exposed just a little bit. You can plant your Iris about 12 inches apart for the best growing width. If you decide to plant an Iris closer than this, you get very showy blooms, but you must then thin the plants on a frequent basis. An iris can also be planted in a pot. Use a roomy pot and leave the topmost inch below the rim of the pot empty. Water your Iris only when the top two inches of soil are dry or you risk causing the bulb to rot.

Photos of Iris

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