Iris xiphium 'Carmen Beauty'
Pronounced: EYE-riss ZIH-fee-um
Sunset zones: 2b-24.
USDA zones: 5-9.
Height: 4-6 inches (10-15 cm).
Delicate lavender flowers, with white falls sporting a bright yellow blotch.
Humus rich, moist, well-drained soil.
At planting time fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.
Divide bulbs when flower quality declines. Lift bulbs after foliage withers and separate out the offsets to replant.
Pests and Diseases:
Mosaic or stripe can be a problem causing mottling of the leaves.
Rainy Side Notes
Dutch irises are excellent as cut flowers. The plants are easy to cultivate and I consider the flowers a spring mainstay in my cutting garden.
In the fall, plant the bulbs three inches deep and four inches apart, deeper in sandy soil. In spring, the bulbs can be succession planted to stretch the cut flower season. Keep bulbs dry during the summer season, an easy task considering our Mediterranean style climate that gives us dry summers.
Dutch iris makes an excellent spring container plant. Pot up bulbs in autumn and stage the container in spring when the iris comes into bloom. When flowers finish blooming, whisk the pot away to a hidden spot to allow the foliage to ripen. Plant the bulbs out in the garden the following fall.
Photographed in author's garden.