The Iris offered in this catalog are descendants of I. pumila, a 4-5" tall native of Europe, the
Mediterranean and Asia Minor, where to this day, it can be seen clinging to the windblown
rocky hillsides. Iris are named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow. The French have also
called them, fleur-de-lis, "flower of the lily", though they are not related to lilies. The stylized
picture of the iris, known as the fleur-de-lis, has been the symbol of valor and chivalry and
the much beloved royal emblem of France for centuries.
The first rock garden iris were introduced in 1596 with bright lilac-purple blossoms, but
their popularity skyrocketed when in 1945, American breeders began a vigorous program
to produce a vast array of colors in dwarf iris. As with their larger cousins, today rock iris
can be obtained in almost any color.
Iris are among the most forgiving of plants. They can survive in poor soil, drought and wind
conditions, but the thrive when their rhizomes are barely buried in soil with good drainage
and good sunlight. Plant 2-4" deep and 4-5" apart.