Irises come in an astounding number of different varieties, varying in size, colour and appearance. The Iris genus contains over 300 species, from large bearded irises to dwarf irises.

Bearded irises get their name from the way the outer petals curl into ruffled "beards".

They can be subdivided into dwarf, intermediate, border and tall forms.

Beardless irises have smooth petals and the leaves are thinner, almost grass-like.

They produce flowers in a variety of colours including, white, yellow, pink, purple and blue. These irises native to Asia are popular cut flowers. Beardless irises tend to bloom in mid summer, after the bearded irises.

Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers that encourage vegetative growth. Use a balanced fertiliser, such as 10-10-10, in spring and again in summer 

The most commonly grown beardless varieties are the Siberian, Louisiana and the Japanese iris.

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