Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Iris paradoxa

This stunningly beautiful Oncocyclus Iris can be found in the steppe habitats of Central Asia, Turkey, and Iran. I acquired the rhizome approximately 6 years ago, and wondered when it would bloom. Well, this was the year! Onco's as us plant collectors call them are amongst one of my favourite plants. The 4cm falls are small compared to the standards. The falls are a delicious purple with a dense beard of blackish-purple, like the finest velvet. The standards are large to 10cm wide with dense veination of rich purple. The flowers almost look out of scale compared to the foliage, but this is typical of the Oncocyclus section of Iris, a trait that draws me ever closer to my fascination with these beauties.  I grow mine under glass for the winter, and give it a hot baking dry summer.

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