Other Iris

Most of us at some point in time have grown German iris or bearded iris?  What about Iris reticulata, I. histroides, I. cristata?  All three of these iris are considered species types and do well in the the Omaha Metro.

Iris reticulata also goes by Dutch iris and is grown from a bulb unlike their German iris counterparts.  They are planted in the fall as with most iris but only grow about 6″ off the ground in the spring.  Due to their size they need to be planted in the front of the garden so they can shine.  They come in various shades of blue.  They are easy to care for but like other spring flowering bulbs they can be challenging to find after they finish blooming.  Their foliage will die back to the ground leaving no trace where they are planted.

Iris histroides is another bulbous iris that sometimes called winter iris but they are often grouped together under the Dutch iris group.  They bloom earlier than I. reticulata and flower in shades of white and bicolors.  Another short plant that grow about 6″ off the ground and will also need to be placed in the front of the garden.

Iris cristata or crested iris is a rhizomatous perennial much like the German iris but only growing 8″ off the ground in a ground cover fashion.  It is native to the northern portions of the United States.  It is one of the few iris that can tolerate some light shade and still performs well.  Colors are usually light blue or purple.

If you are looking to spice up your iris bed think about adding some of these other species of iris that do well in our area.

Scott Evans
Scott Evans is a horticulture assistant with Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties. A certified arborist through International Society of Arboirculture and Nebraska Arborist Association. Scott is also Tree Risk Assessment Qualified through ISA. Scott co-leads the Master Gardener program in Douglas & Sarpy counties. Along with volunteer management he provides his expertise with disease and insect identification, lawn and landscape weed management, plant health, and I.P.M. practices. He also enjoys growing many houseplants ranging from African violets to cacti and succulents. Scott has two Bachelors of Science, one in Biology (emphasis in Botany, Ecology and Environmental Science) and second in Environmental Geology from Northwest Missouri State University. He earned his Master of Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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