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Native alternative(s) for Iris reticulata:
Iris cristata Spring blooms
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Iris reticulata 'Harmony' Iris reticulata 'Harmony'
Narcissus A field of daffodils taken in Hurley Park, Salisbury, NC
Iris Flower in pond pots (1.5 ft. of water) in spring in Moore County

Dwarf Iris Iris reticulata

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Dwarf Iris:

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss reh-tik-yoo-LAY-tah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This bulbous perennial herb of the Iris family is a dwarf variety native to Eastern Europe which blooms very early in the spring.  They grow best in morning sun to full sun in average soil with moisture supplied during the growing season and allowed to dry in the summer to set buds for the next spring bloom.  The small (2-3"), fragrant flowers are a vibrant blue to violet with the 3 outer, pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards" of other iris, but are marked with striping of white and yellow on the falls.  They are impressive in a group planting at the edge of a border, in beds, containers, and rock gardens; great for use in woodland gardens or near ponds or streams when naturalizing. The leaves are very fine and grass-like at only the height of the flowers at bloom, 6-8 inches, and rising to 12-15 inches after the flowers fade. The leaves disappear during the summer dormancy.

The fruit is a capsule, but as most irises, this reproduces better by division.  The reticulate patterned bulbs divide into bulblets (offshoots) after blooms have faded and may be separated and replanted at 5 inches, but take several years to mature.  If the number of blooms is decreasing, it is recommended to separate and plant these bulblets or treat this iris as an annual by planting additional bulbs every fall.  

 It is deer and drought tolerant and is less susceptible to the fungal, bacterial, and iris borer problems of other iris.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Iris.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Harmony'
Tags:
#bulb#poisonous#small spaces#drought tolerant#container plant#blue flowers#mass planting#cpp#lavender flowers#houseplants#cutting garden#early spring flowers#spring flowering bulbs#problem for cats#ebh#problem for dogs#problem for horses#ebh-g
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Harmony'
Tags:
#bulb#poisonous#small spaces#drought tolerant#container plant#blue flowers#mass planting#cpp#lavender flowers#houseplants#cutting garden#early spring flowers#spring flowering bulbs#problem for cats#ebh#problem for dogs#problem for horses#ebh-g
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    reticulata
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Turkey to Iran
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    1 flower at the top of a naked stem, 6-parted with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards", variously colored; blooms in early spring (March)
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Strap-like, overlapping at base, oriented in one plane. They can get up to a foot long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR, OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Nausea, salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, diarrhea, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Pentacylic terpenoids (zeorin, missourin and missouriensin), Irisin, iridin, or irisine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds