April Flora Spotlight:
Dwarf Crested Iris
The Botanical Garden explodes with spring ephemerals in April; early blooming, short-lived wildflowers that emerge in early spring and disappear by early
summer. These plants develop above-ground parts in March or April; quickly flower and go to seed, then die back to their underground parts by
May or June.
A favorite at this time of year is dwarf crested iris. Iris cristata has a violet to
light blue flower with a fringed yellow crests. This native appreciate a little
morning sun in order to bloom and are low growing (4-6”high) so they do
well in the front of flower bed border, along pathways or in nooks between
rocks. Do not let leaves pile up on them in the winter or the clumps will
thin significantly and eventually may die out. They like acid soil and do not
require a lot of water or attention. They spread thru small rhizomes. Plant
the rhizome "high" or at ground level rather than burying in the soil.
The Native Americans used Iris root/rhizomes as a laxative and emetic.