Have you heard of the Spuria beardless iris, a cousin of the Siberian iris? I hadn’t. And I certainly hadn’t been prepared for the Wow-ow -ow! factor of seeing one of these five-foot-plus-tall giants in a garden.
It happened yesterday, when Sarah and I took an interesting detour. While looking at a new community garden on Kingston Road east of Markham Road in Scarborough, we discovered the historic Cornell/Campbell Farm next door. We’ve since learned that there are some great plans being considered for this 12-acre historic site, recently acquired by the City’s Parks department. However, I’ll let Sarah tell you about both those gardens in a couple of different posts.
My quest is simply to show you perhaps something new.
My A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants has this to say about Iris spuria: Most Spurias require a dry summer dormancy, alkaline soil, and high levels of fertility.
The Spuria Iris Society web page notes: Modern hybrids are respected for their ease of growth and enormous size. Their exquisite flowers are highly sought by both florists and arrangers. The Society has tons of cultural info on them here, and you can also link to their online gallery through the same link. Apparently, spurias are particularly attractive to bees.
They were just coming into bloom in the garden yesterday, putting them perhaps a little later than the Siberians. I’ve never seen an iris quite like it.
UPDATE: I had forgotten to mention, as Sarah notes in the comments, that Iris spuria is available from Ontario iris grower and hybridizer, Chapman Iris. He sells all his irises online, and would ship out spurias in September, the best time for planting. Have a look at his site, too, for his open house dates, when you can catch him in the garden for Q&As. Sarah & I have been meaning to go to one of those.