March 29, 2011

Iris attica - Daily Awesome

Iris attica blooming in a bonsai pot, I keep this marginally hardy rare species in the cold greenhouse. This is the first year it has bloomed, and I have had the plant for four years.

I love surprises, especially when they are something like this rare Iris attica ( and I almost missed it). I got home from work and it was nearly dark ( although it's hard to tell in these photos, because the light was low and I had to use a long exposure and a tripod), but I knew that I had to capture this as an image tonight, since it would be all done tomorrow. Say hello to Iris attica ( a blue one!), a genus which is typically yellow, there are some purple forms even in the wild where it grows in Turkey and Greece.

 Iris attica is somewhat rare, and technically it is a bearded iris, which means that it's structure is similar to the more popular German Bearded Iris, or the Border Iris we all are familar with They have distinct beards ( blue, in this case) and have flowering stems that are simple or branched, which extend from Rhzomes and the typical fan of leaves. The most significant different with this species is that it is much smaller, the flower stems are about 6 inches tall.

 According to the Species Iris Group of North America, or SIGNA, this species is hard to find, and a little challenging to grow since it requires bone dry summers, and prefers to grow in zone 8 -10 ( although one source lists it as a zone 5 plant if a dry summer cover is provided. Native to Greece, western Turkey, Serbia, and Croatia, this Iris's status is currently unknown in the wild as of 2004 (D.Kramb). Sometimes seed can be found in seed exchanges from the Iris Society. This is a species that demands well drained, rocky soil and is rather tender. I keep it in the cold greenhouse, where it is essentially ever green, going partially dormant in the summer, and resumes growth in mid winter. It sits high on a window ledge in the greenhouse, where it recieves full sun year round.


  1. Matt, that iris is simply beautiful buddy. It appears it is given the attention it deserves. ;-)


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