Rock Gardens and Irises
One of the ways to use Iris in the landscape
is in the rock garden. Indeed there are a large number of species under 12 inches tall that make perfect rock garden plants,
Many rock gardeners feel that species are more suitable for rock garden use than advanced-generation garden hybrids, as they present a more naturalistic appearance. Among the bearded species most often recommended for rock gardens are the diminutive Iris attica, I. suaveolens,
and I. pumila.
These are all under six inches in height and come in a range of color forms. I. attica
requires a rather dry summer, so this should be taken into consideration. Somewhat larger but still quite suitable are I. reichenbachii, I. schachtii,
and most forms of I. aphylla.
If soil is light and sandy, the psammirises I. humilis
and I. bloudowii
make charming rock garden subjects.
Beware of pairing irises with spreading perennials that may inhibit air circulation or crowd the plants.
Among the bulbous types, any of the reticulata irises (subgenus Hermodactyloides
) are superb, as are the smaller junos (subgenus Scorpiris
) if you can satisfy their cultural needs in your climate.
-- Main.RPries - 2010-05-13