I have to admit that whenever I’m asked to imagine an iris, it is invariably the blue flag version that comes to mind; dark royal blue petals with a yellow flash at the base. It has never honestly occurred to me that irises could be any other colour than this, so I was stunned to see just how wrong I was – and how lovely they all are! I have quite a collection of these on my Pinterest boards, so here is a random selection, just to give you an idea of the variety.
Although this is a blue iris, it is quite different from the usual in that the blue is much paler and the accenting colour is white rather than yellow. I can quite see where this one got its name, it really does resemble waves off the Mediterranean coast on a hot summer day.
I especially like this one with its vibrant tangerine coloured petals. It looks so lively and fresh and is so completely different from the traditional blue. The name makes me smile as well, being the title of a well known Jerry Lee Lewis song. There is definitely something of the rockabilly about this one.
How completely different is this? Such rich deep maroon petals look almost chocolate brown against the wonderful flame colours of the flag petals. This feels very autumnal to me, but is very striking and certainly catches the eye.
Of course, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t try to find at least one black iris, and this is the best one to my mind. The petals are almost completely black and would look very striking next to white calla lilies and red standard tulips.
And now a complete contrast, a beautiful pure white iris. This looks very ethereal to me, so I think it has been appropriately named. It is stunning and I think drifts of this in a large garden would have a suitably dramatic effect.
And this is only a very few of the varieties that I have found. I’m told that there are hundreds more, so I’m certain that there’s a colour combination out there for every garden plan. I hope they grow and look beautiful wherever they are.