This group are native to central and southern Europe and from Algeria to Iran. It is one of the tallest members of the iris family, with stems typically rising to 90cm (occasionally to 1.5m’) tall. Stalk height is often reduced in cold winter climates. Grows in clumps with attractive narrow linear leaves to 40cm long. Flowers on species plants typically have bluish-purple to lilac segments with falls sometimes having a yellow ridge. Colour variations expand the colour range to include white, blue, purple, wine and brown.
This group of iris are best grown in rich, well-composted, moist neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soils in full sun. Many spurias are summer dormant and need much less moisture after bloom (growth in summer often stops during hot weather and plants can survive with little watering). Avoid use of mulch for the same reason. Plant rhizomes shallowly (about 5cm deep) and about 60cm apart in mid to late summer. These plants require regular feeding in spring prior to bloom. Try and avoid overhead watering and remove flowering stems to the ground after flowers have finished. Divide plants immediately after flowering when overcrowding occurs (every 3-4 years).
Available from most online bulb suppliers.