iris extravaganza

Whilst visiting Somerset in the last week of May I was delighted with the amount of late spring / early summer irises in flower. Irises are such beautiful flowers – so many types and colours and textures and contrasting patterns. Early spring Iris reticulata (the dwarf irises) and the summer Dutch irises grow from bulbs and those that grow from rhizomes include bearded irises, beardless like Iris Sibirica, and crested irises. Many have intricate, showy markings on the outer petals, like flowers on a flower.

An iris has two types of petals called ‘falls’ and ‘standards’. The falls are the three petals that are curved downwards – they are falling away from the centre of the flower. The standards are three petals that are standing straight up.

In many iris the standards and falls are quite distinct, but in some, like the Japanese iris, the standards are mostly horizontal and start looking like falls. In all cases the standards are the three upper most petals.

The beard is a fuzzy patch at the base of each falls petal. Locate the falls petal and look at it near the centre of the flower. The beard is usually quite distinct and you can feel the fuzzy hair-like feature. If the petal is not fuzzy, it is not bearded.

29 thoughts on “iris extravaganza

  1. What a lovely and colourful selection of irises. 🙂 I bought 5 (cut) today at the supermarket, so pulled them over to check out the falls and standards, but they’re not quite open enough yet. I don’t usually buy cut flowers (too expensive, don’t last long) but here in Sydney we are on the cusp on lockdown, so I figured I’d be at home 24/7 to admire them!

    • Oh, dear. At least your lockdowns are short and swift. Our cases are shooting up, especially in my neck of the woods, most likely due to opening of hospitality and tourists over half term. But Boris is determined to open everything next month. You have to hope these vaccines really do work. My concern is for how long? 🙄

      And yes, irises are delightful. I suspect yours may be Dutch, they are favourite for cut flowers.

      • I don’t mind if we all need yearly boosters, like the flu shot. So much better than nothing! I just wish it wasn’t 12 weeks between AZ jabs here. I have much younger colleagues who’ve already had both their Pfizer jabs, 3 weeks apart; yet my parents in Canada had almost 12 weeks between their Pfizers. So strange — and so strange to experience “vaccine envy”!

        • I think we went about 10 weeks between doses, both kinds. Good that you’re getting sorted at last. I wonder when you’ll open your borders.

        • The borders will be closed for months yet. Which is good in that it keeps the virus incursion both manageable and traceable; bad, though, from an economic stance. My planned week in QLD in July has been killed due to the Bondi Junction (where I live now) outbreak. I’m not even allowed to leave Greater Sydney, let alone go to QLD!

  2. These are all so beautiful – must have been wonderful to see them. I would fill my garden with them if I could!

Comments are closed.