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Dwarf Irises-early flowering Iris reticulata-Iris danfordiae

Dwarf Irises are very early blooming, bulbous plants. They bloom after snowdrops, in the same time as giant crocuses.

These tiny plants have a big flower, compared to the overall size of the plant, which is not taller than 10 cm in height.
The flowers come before the leaves on a short tube (stem).

The two best known species of dwarf irises are Iris reticulata and Iris danfordiae.
Both species of miniaure irises are very hardy, they produce flagrant flowers in early spring and go dormant in summer.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata is the best known species with a wide range of colors from blue to violet to purple, with somewhat darker falls and veins and white and yellow blotches. The flowers are violet scented.

Iris reticulata-blue Dwarf Irises
Iris reticulata-purple Dwarf Irises
Many beautiful named varieties and hybrids resulted due to intensive cultivation of this wildflower.
One of these hybrids is the Iris reticulata "Katherine Hodgkin". Its flowers are pale sea-green with blue veins and impressive yellow markings.

Iris reticulata close-up-Katharine Hodgkin Dwarf Irises
Iris reticulata-Katharine Hodgkin

Iris danfordiae

Iris danfordiae is another species of dwarf iris. Its flowers are of a bright canary yellow color with green or brown spots and are honey scented.
Iris danfordiae is very hardy, it starts blooming sometimes in February.

Iris danfordiae close-up-Dwarf Iris

All dwarf irises prefer full sun of part shade and well drained soil.


Jayne said...

I need to get some irises in my garden. They are so beautiful. Love your photos.

Carletta said...

I have the regular iris but think that maybe some of these mixed in would make a lovely display. Thanks for the thought. :)

Gemma Wiseman said...

Beautiful colours! Love the wavey shapes of irises!

Lui said...

Oh I never knew there are dwarf versions ;-) MY friends bought some in bloom but it has not repeated the blooming part. It must be the soil ;-(

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