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Herbaceous Perennial

Iris unguicularis

Algerian iris

I. unguicularis is a vigorous evergreen rhizomatous perennial to 30cm in height, with copious dark green leaves and very fragrant, deep violet flowers 5-8cm in width, the falls marked with white and deep yellow at the base, in late winter

Other common names
Algerian winter iris
winter iris
Synonyms
Iris stylosa

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Purple Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause severe discomfort. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Iris may be rhizomatous or bulbous perennials, with narrow leaves and erect stems bearing flowers with 3 large spreading or pendent fall petals, alternating with 3 erect, often smaller, standard petals, in late winter, spring or early summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
N Africa to SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained or sharply drained neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Ideal at the base of a sunny wall

Propagation

Propagate by division from midsummer to early autumn, plant immediately in flowering positions

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Banks and slopes
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Slugs and snails may be a problem

Diseases

May be subject to bacterial soft rot, grey moulds and a virus

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