Macro Monday #51

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Aristea Capitata ‘Blue Spectre’ / Blousuurkanol

A herbaceous perennial from South Africa that will form thick clumps of evergreen, iris-like sword-shaped leaves year round, which stand upright to 1.5 meters. The bright indigo blue flowers are fragrant and each are about 1″ wide with purple stamens and yellow anthers. They are pollinated by bees, attract butterflies and only appear in spring, followed by attractive dry flower stems.

(Seen in the garden on St Michael’s Mount)

Flowers in Australia: 1



Dietes is a genus of rhizomatous plants of the family Iridaceae, first described as a genus in 1866. Common names include Fortnight lily, African iris, Morea or Moraea iris, Japanese iris and Butterfly iris, each of which may be used differently in different regions for one or more of the four species within the genus.

I is for Iris

The story of the Iris flower dates back to Ancient Greece, when the Greek Goddess Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, acted as the messenger between heaven and earth. This rainbow goddess carried messages for the gods Hera and Zeus and back to earth by the arc of the rainbow, hence the Iris flower is the symbol of idea and messages. The rainbow refers to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. There are some 300 different species of iris and their flowers come in a wide variety of colours such a yellow, white and purple, pink and orange, coppery browns and even almost black.

Siberian Beardless Iris

Siberian Beardless Iris

There are bearded and beardless and crested irises. Bearded irises are called such because they have ‘beard’ of fine hairs along the centre of the ‘falls’, beardless irises often have crests and no beard. Crested irises have a ridge instead of a beard  and prefer damp woodland in temperate climates. Water irises flourish in a bog-like garden.

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris

They also come as Rhizomes or bulbs.  The Reticulata group are dwarf and flower early from bulbs and are beardless, they are especially good in containers. Spring Dwarf bearded  irises grow from rhizomes and are only a few inches tall and then there are the tall Dutch irises used for cut flowers. So if you want to grow irises then choose the right plant for your location.

Crested Iris

Crested Iris

So, the list and the possibilities seem endless.

Please click on an image to scroll through the gallery to view.


For Iris

Today would have been my mother’s 94th birthday. Sadly she passed away when she was only 76 years old and I still miss her even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Her name was Iris.


Bearded Iris

Iris may be rhizomatous or bulbous perennials, with narrowly leaves and erect stems bearing flowers with 3 large spreading or pendent fall petals, alternating with 3 erect, often smaller, standard petals, in late winter, spring or early summer

Bearded Iris