Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Iris Cristata-Dwarf Crested Iris

In the past, a number of people have asked us if iris grow in the shade and we have always answered that all of the iris we were growing required sun, that is until now. This year at Pittsgrove, we are trying our hand at Iris cristata also known as dwarf crested iris. These prefer shade to part shade, grow 6 to 8 inches high, and spread very nicely without becoming invasive.
The cristata are native to America and grow all over the mid-Atlantic states, but are not seen in New Jersey very often. The flowers are white, or come in shades of blue/lavender. These little plants need a well-drained location in rich, loose soil and will form dense clumps. Their roots are very shallow, therefore require just a pinch of mulch..
These iris are great for that shady spot, rock garden, along walks and or a path in the woods.

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