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Flowers. Iris is a genus of between 200-300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers which takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name and refers to all Iris species as well as some closely related genera. It is the state flower of Tennessee. The inflorescences are fan-shaped and contain one or more symmetrical, six-lobed flowers. These grow on a pedicel or lack a footstalk. The three sepals, which are spreading or droop downwards, are referred to as falls. They expand from their narrow base into a broader limb (= expanded portion), often adorned with veining, lines or dots. The three, sometimes reduced, petals stand upright, partly behind the sepal bases. They are called standards. Some smaller iris species have all six lobes pointing straight outwards. The sepals and the petals differ from each other. They are united at their base into a floral tube that lies above the ovary. The styles divide towards the apex into petaloid branches (see pollination, below).

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      03.08.2005 17:19
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      One of my favorites

      Iris

      The Iris in my opinion is a beautiful flower and comes in so many colours and shades of colour that it's sometimes hard to choose which type to plant in the garden. A lot of people usually have the dark purple plant which make a good display of colour every year.
      You can however get dwarf iris which are yellow white and a very light lilac colour. The best types to look for are the Blue Doll and Blue Denim as they are named and they grows to about four to ten inches high. Their flower is delicate and attractive in the garden.

      You can get bearded and beardless iris, the bearded ones have hairy beards on the falls of the flowers. The falls are the outer petals of the blooms.
      I always think an iris is much like the orchid, an unusual bloom which can have you stood looking at it for ages while you take in the colour and the scent. A beautiful flower which brightens up any garden and attracts the bees and the butterflies.

      An iris plant loves the sunshine so if you have a shaded garden you'll find it difficult to get these to grow, I made the mistake of planting some in the wrong place when I had just started to get interested in gardening. A friend had dug lots of them up and I took them home and put them in the wrong place and they never grew enough to bloom. Having learned that lesson, I have a nice collection of varieties in the sunny spot of my garden, these add lots of colour to the place.

      They will grow in any good soil but not in acidy soil they like neutral ground. Plant the rhizomes, as they are called in late June or early July. You can plant in early September at the latest.
      Prepare the bed with bone, old manure and compost and plant the rhizomes facing the same way. They need to be about twelve inches apart. Top the rhizomes with a tip of each showing and make sure it gets lots of water as they won't take if they dry out.
      They don't like weeds so keep the ground free from weeds and in winter cut back the leaves to stop the slugs attacking.
      They like to be fed around march with fertilizer which is not to rich in nitrogen. When the plants have flowered don't forget to take the dead heads off to help improve the look of the display.

      Happy gardening.

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      • More +
        07.09.2001 03:53
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        No, I hadn’t heard of this plant either! I saw it in Mr Fothergill’s seed catalogue last year (2000). The description said that it had blue flowers similar to an iris and was a hardy perennial. It belongs to the Iris family, but is the only member of the genus Pardanthopsis. The alternative name is Vesper Iris, and it comes from Central Asia and China. I sowed the seeds in a small pot in my greenhouse in March 2000. Tiny grass-like seedlings soon appeared, which I pricked out into individual 3.5 inch pots filled with multi-purpose compost. I got 20 plants from a nominal 20 seeds! The plants grew into small fans of stiff foliage just like an iris, and I planted them out in two groups in a sunny bed in early June. Many of the plants flowered in August. The buds appear at the ends of branched, candelabra-like stems and are pointed and twisted. They do not open until the late afternoon – you can look one minute and no flowers will be in evidence, and a few minutes later there will be dozens of blooms! The flowers are delightful – like small irises, opening quite flat. They are purplish-blue with white markings. Each seems to last only one day, but lots more open every day. Now in their second year, about 15 plants remain. They reach about 3 feet tall and are quite airy, allowing plants behind to be seen. Some leaves remained over winter, but they mostly re-emerged in Spring and started to flower at the beginning of July. They are still in full flower at the beginning of September. They are in poor, sandy, stony soil in full sun with other perennials. These plants were easy to grow from seed and have proved valuable in my border, which is colour-themed with mainly blue and purple plants. I would recommend them as a cheap way to obtain a quantity of unusual plants which flower over a fairly long period and give height and interest to a border. I expect the plants to be short-lived, and will col
        lect seed this year (several pods are already setting), and attempt to grow some more plants.

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