by Jim Murrain
It's summer and the iris are hot, hot, hot. These are not reblooming iris, these are Asian Iris species that normally flower in the heat of summer. Two species have been kicked in and out of the genus Iris but they are both back in the genus Iris today. Although well known and widely grown, they have suffered from ridiculous common names like 'Blackberry Lily' (Yes, it is an Iris and NOT a Lily) to the descriptive but slightly cryptic name of 'Vesper Iris'. These tough iris are at their peak bloom during the hottest weather. Well known by the old name Belamcanda chinensis, the Blackcberry Lily is now properly Iris domestica. The slightly odd Vesper Iris, Pardanthopsis dichotoma, is now the much simpler Iris dichotoma.
Iris domestica in red and apricot colors
Iris domestica seed strain 'Hello Yellow'
a rare double flowered Iris domestica