The Iris group are mentioned in this section, in that some of them are grown from real bulbs, and others from Rhizomes.
They are a valuable addition to the 'bulb garden' in that the various types have different flowering periods. Together with that, the range of flower colours and the differing flowering heights and forms make them a versatile addition.
Iris Shurton Princess
The most spectacular of the Iris group is those in the Bearded Iris group. As can be seen from the image, they have a drooping petals - often mistakenly called beards. The term Bearded Iris actually comes from the fact that within the centre of the flower - and totally visible - you will see a 'beard' of white - sometimes coloured hairs.
The Bearded Irises generally flower in mid to late spring, and flowers are held on erect stems up to 2ft - 60cms - tall.
This group grow from Rhizomes and should be planted in full sun and a light soil. They are normally planted as new plants with the Rhizomes just sitting on top of the soil where the sun can bake them - ensuring the best flowers.
Iris ensata is becoming an increasingly popular competitor to the Bearded Irises - having a wide colour range and generally flattened flower heads. Their preferred habitat is damp soils - even edges of ponds.
The Iris ensata normally send up single stems from the rhizome - but sometimes branched stems. Each stem can bear 3 or even 4 individual flowers and as can be seen by the image, there are many choice - if not gaudy - varieties or cultivars.
Read More about the Iris Ensata - Iris Kaempferii - Japanese Iris
Iris sibirica, the Siberian Iris is ideally positioned in damper places (can survive in dry areas), or in garden borders as it is one of the most hardiest perennials. The Siberian Iris enjoys full sun or part shade, it can withstand all the elements, even in Northern England and Scotland.
The Siberian Iris grows upto 120 cm and it is happy to be planted between other plants, its long thin stems will pop up through the other plants, but not too dense. It will co-habit well with hostas.
The Siberian Iris is best planted in early spring as it will flower throughout the spring until early summer.
Plants can be divided in late summer. Slugs are often a problem with this group of Irises.
Any transplanting - or planting of new plants - should be carried out in late summer. They should not be planted in winter months.
Iris reticulata - Dwarf Irises grow from bulbs and are the fist of the Iris group to flower in early Spring.
Iris reticulata bulbs and Iris danfordiae - both dwarf iris bulbs - are also being sold as potted plants in the spring - either with just flower colour showing through or fully in flower. There are normally around 5 or more to a pot grown purchase.
If bulbs have been purchased, then they should be planted immediately after purchase - if weather conditions permit. Pots of Iris will often have been grown under cover of glass or polythene to get them into perfect flowering condition, so flowers could possibly be a little tender if planted out right away in flowering positions. Better to allow the flowers to die down, then gently part the bulbs and plant in flowering positions.
Read More about The Dwarf Irises
Iris ensata 'Sansation'
Leucojum vernum - the Snowpake