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April Flora Spotlight:
Dwarf Crested Iris

Dwarf crested iris
Iris cristata


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.

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