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Plantidote of the Day 2011-02-20

jerztomato's picture

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata and Calluna vulgaris

miniature wild iris, netted iris, rock garden iris and heather

The miniature iris blooms in late winter (zones 4-9). It needs full sun and well drained soil.
It's supposedly fragrant, but you have to stick your nose in the flower to smell anything!
Believe me, it's a miniature. If I wasn't weeding the flowerbed, I couldn't see this diminutive plant.
The other plant is a heather. There are over 1000 cultivars of this small shrub.
Northern gardeners rejoice, this plant is hardy to zone 4. It doesn't do well in heat and humidity. You can make it form a lovely patchwork quilt ground-cover.
Since there are so many varieties available, some heather is always in bloom.

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

what a beautiful flower! are they really as blue irl as these appear to be on my computer screen?

jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

It really is that blue. I think it really depends on your natural light how the color is perceived.

cellocat's picture
Submitted by cellocat on

And it is always one of the early signs of spring that makes me the happiest. I have purple ones in a pot on the front porch, and more will go into the ground this year. The combo with heather is fantastic.