From short and dainty, through to tall and proud - select your irises for the rise and fall of your borders, and to create eddies of interest.
The fragrance of the iris flower varies almost as much as that of the rose. It can be earthy and spicy, musky and woody, or sweet and fruity.
Some people think that the iris has no fragrance - they just haven't found the right varieties!
Note that Orris - used in scented products does not come from the blooms - it is distilled from the rhizomes and carries more earthy notes.
The term 'historic' is an official designation used to describe any iris over 30 years old. The idea, mainly led by the American Iris Society, was to try to prevent the loss of important old irises. Of course this has led to some debate as now a 'modern' iris from 1989 could be called Historic !
In my experience iris varieties pre 1960's have a distinctive form, indicative of the earlier times. I have used this as a bench mark on this site, although there are some exceptions due to their rarity.
That's right many iris bloom more than once a year. In addition to blooming in the Spring, the reblooming iris varieties bloom again in the Summer and Autumn.
Remontant iris, commonly called re-bloomers, or re-blooming iris include several types within one category.
"Cycle Re bloomers" may produce two or more flushes of blooms each year or produce a spring crop of flowers, then lie low during summer, and grow and flower again in the autumn. "Repeaters" produce new flowers soon after the first spring flush dies back, extending the bloom season to one to two months, and finally "All-season re-bloomers" produce flowers irregularly throughout the season.
Re blooming isn't guaranteed, being dependant on your location, climate and cultural conditions. But don't give up, some varieties need to establish and acclimate before they re bloom well.
Remontant irises have accelerated life cycles. They grow and flower faster than the one-timers so they need additional fertiliser and water.
The Space Age Irises have horns that extend from the end of the beard. The horn is a spear-like appendage that emerges from the fall at the end of the beard. The tip of the horn is sometimes flat which is referred to as a spoon or may be split and laced making a flounce which looks like little petals.