A-Z of Plants
The name Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow. In Greek mythology, Iris, the goddess of love was said to carry messages of love from heaven to earth using a rainbow. With blooms in all the colours of the rainbow, the Iris plant is said to be named after her.
Irises offer intricate and exquisite summer blooms in a multitude of colours among the many species. Many varieties of Iris are not only beautiful, but also delightfully fragranced, hence why they have been capturing the hearts of gardeners for centuries.
Irises have three upright petals called ‘standards’ and three distinctive outer petals known as ‘frills’. These often have beards or crests down their centres.
Irises do best when planted in full sun or partial shade. They are hardy and easy to grow but prefer slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Most varieties of Iris begin flowering from late spring and well into summer and reach a height of around 70 cm.
‘Berkeley Gold’ is a fantastic variety of bearded Iris, forming clumps of strap-like leaves which are purple at the base. It has beautiful butter-yellow petals which are slightly crimped. It gives off a delicately sweet fragrance and will be sure to make it a fantastic addition to your beds, borders and containers.