Irises in the Alpine House
One of the many ways in which Irises can be used in the landscape
is in the Alpine House. Generally in the strict sense alpine houses are homes for plants that grow above the tree line in the alpine zone. There are several Iris species that fall within this context. But there are also many that grow in other types of harsh environments that one may find in the alpine house.
- European Mountains;
- Probably the first species to come to mind would be the high alpine forms of Iris lutescens, often refered to under an old synonym as Iris chamaeiris. This can be a true alpine but is a variable species, growing at lower elevations also and not needing the special treatment of an alpine house.
- Another Iris that occurs above the tree-line, endemic to just a few mountains in the Sanbine hills North of Rome, Italy is Iris sabina. It is a perfect dwarf iris under 8" in its native habitat but becomes MTB size when grown at lower elevations. It also does not require the special treatment of an alpine house.
- Himalayan Mountains:
- Irises such as Iris barbata occur in tree-less areas of the Himalayas. These Iris are not well known and probably benefit from Alpine House conditions.
- Many Irises in the Section Scorpiris (Junos) and in the Section Oncocyclus may benefit from Alpine house conditions so as provide them with the summer dry rest period for which they are adapted.
-- Main.RPries - 2010-05-13