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Alpine RockeryHerbaceous Perennial

Iris suaveolens

sweet-scented iris

I. suaveolens is a compact, rhizomatous, bearded iris to 15cm tall with fans of narrow, curved, slightly glaucous leaves to 22cm long. One or two flowers are borne in late spring on short stems; flowers are up to 5.5cm in diameter, usually yellow or purple but sometimes bicoloured with yellow or bluish-purple beards

Other common names
delightful iris
Synonyms
Iris mellita
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Purple Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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
SE Europe to Turkey

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How to grow

Cultivation

Plant in full sun in well-drained soil, and with the top surfaces of the rhizomes exposed so that they get baked in summer sun, which encourages flowering

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by division of rhizomes after flowering, from midsummer to late summer; for more advice, see dividing irises

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Rock garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut down old flower stems after flowering, and remove any dying foliage in autumn

Pests

May be affected by iris sawfly, aphids, leaf miners, slugs, snails, and wireworms

Diseases

May be affected by iris rhizome rot, iris leaf spot, scorch, a rust, and virus diseases; for more advice see iris diseases

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