Sunday, May 04, 2014

Iris cristata: You Can Grow That!

The Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) is a small iris that is native to the eastern United States. This dwarf iris is beardless and it faces right up at you, unlike so many other woodland and native flowers that require you to peer at them from a snail's vantage point.

It grows just a few inches tall and is best suited for the borders of woodland paths and fronts of part-shade flower beds. When not in flower, the narrow foliage is like that of bearded iris, but as it is much smaller, it is hardly noticeable.

The bloom time is late April to early May. It blooms on the previous year's growth, so it will take a year to establish and flower.

It spreads slowly by underground rhizomes. It is easy to divide and share or put in different spots around your own garden. If you want to propagate it by seed allow the seedpods to dry on the plant then break them open over an envelope to collect the seeds.

They are drought-tolerant, trouble-free, and require no care once planted. It does well in rock gardens and on slopes as well.

Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That! Day was started by C. L. Fornari of Whole Life Gardening because she believes “Gardening is one of the most life-affirming things we can do.…We need to thoroughly saturate people with the belief that plants and gardening are worth doing because of the benefits gained.” Garden bloggers who agree post about something worth growing on the fourth day of every month. Read this month’s You Can Grow That! posts.

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