Evergreen, bulbous or rhizomatous plants with oblong, lanceolate, green leaves. The genus comprises over 300 species and takes its name from the greek word for a rainbow "Irida". Irises are cultivated for their spectacular flowers that are borne in spring.
Latin name: Iris ensata "Hekito"
Botanically they are divided into two main categories: bulbous and rhizomatous. The rhizomatous varieties are further divided into three subgenera, depending on the flower form. Overall, the botanical and morphological classification gives the following, simplified, four subgenera:
1) Rhizomatous bearded varieties (bloom time: April-May)
2) Rhizomatous beardless varieties (bloom time: April-May)
3) Rhizomatous crested varieties (bloom time: April-May)
4) Bulbous varieties (bloom time: February-March)
Irises require humus-rich, neutral or slightly acid (neutral or alkaline for the bulbous varieties), moderately moist soils and full sun or part shade.
They are used in rock gardens, in plant arrangements and in flower gardens. Irises are also used as cut flowers.
Propagated by rhizome division or by bulbils.
Rhizomatous, beardless variety that features purple flowers with a yellow blaze on the base of each fall and a white blaze on the base of each standard petal.