Monday, November 14, 2011

The Plum Scented Iris

          By Jim Murrain

Iris graminea, a small spuria iris species is an easy to grow jewel. It has two inch flowers on four inch stems. It is easy to dismiss at it flowers below the foliage, but you would be wrong to do so.

When picked they can be best appreciated. The tiny flowers show their rich purple, blue, and white colors like fine stained glass ornaments. A bouquet of just a few in a small vase is a thing of beauty.

But now as you view them up close there is a very pleasant surprise. They have a scent like the most luscious ripe plums. I think Iris graminea has the very finest scent of any iris.

Growing this iris could not be any easier. It needs only a half day of sun to perform well. Ordinary garden soil and drought tolerant but it grows best with average water in a flower bed. I prefer to plant them atop a short stone wall to better see the flowers and they are a little bit closer to my nose as well.


  1. They have very attractive foliage. Does it stay green all year, or go dormant?

  2. I. graminea has attractive foliage all growing season. In Kansas City it usually stays green until mid December. It is winter dormant. I pull off the old leaves in mid winter while the ground is frozen or cut it off in very early spring.


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