Dutch Iris

The Dutch iris consists of six petals and blooms in the spring.
Purple Iris

Purple Iris

Photo by: Photo By: Michele Lewellyn

Photo By: Michele Lewellyn

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Plant type: Bulb
Botanical name: Iris xiphium
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

A bulbous iris valued for showy, petite blooms. The Dutch iris flower has six petals; the three upright petals are called standards, and the three hanging petals are called falls. Flowers are white, rose, orange, yellow, purple and blue. Blooms in spring. Foliage is green and grasslike and dies back after it has finished blooming. Plant size is 15 to 24 inches tall and as wide.

How to use it: Plant in mass or use in containers. Use in the front of a mixed perennial border. Plant with other spring-flowering bulbs, like daffodils (Narcissus). Cutflower. To use as a cutflower, cut when flower is fully open.

Culture: Prefers a moist, well-drained soil. Plant in full sun. Dutch iris are bulbous. To plant bulbs, dig a hole four to six inches deep. Place bulbs with the growing tip pointed up. If planting several bulbs, plant six inches apart. Plant in fall. For added winter protection, provide an extra layer of mulch. Where Dutch iris doesn't persist in the garden, dig bulbs after flowering is completed and store in a cool, dark, dry place until replanting in fall. Primarily propagated through division. Divide after blooming has finished. May have problems with slugs or snails.

Special notes: The name iris is derived from Greek mythology where Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, therefore aptly named for its variety of flower colors. Dutch iris was produced by Tubergen Nurseries in Holland.

Selected cultivars

  • 'Wedgwood'. Hybrid that has blue flowers with yellow splotches. May not be hardy in cold climates.

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