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Iris cristata

dwarf crested iris add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average

Height: 4"-6"

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: violet, blue

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts hummingbirds, clumping, colonizing, deer resistant, fragrant flowers, shade garden plant

Flowers of Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
  • Flowers of Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
  • Flowers of Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
  • Flowers of Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
  • Clump of Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)

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Description

Iris cristata

Also known as:

dwarf crested iris

,

crested iris

Scientific Synonyms:

Neubeckia cristata

Description

At only about 6" tall, Iris cristata is a very low iris, but high on charm. Beautiful crested, or bearded, 3" violet flowers are nestled among the arching leaf blades in spring. It is native to southern and mid-western wooded uplands.

Cultivation

Ideal in part shade, the dwarf crested iris does well in average to acidic soil. Too rich a soil will lead to foliage over growth. Like most irises, it does not like to have "wet feet". It will readily colonize. May bloom from March to May. Zones 5-7

Propagation

Best propagated by root division in fall, when the leaves start dying back, but may also be propagated from seed. Seeds need to be sowed while fresh and may take up to 3 years to produce a blooming plant.

Additional Notes

The dwarf crested iris is an ideal plant for shade gardens, where it will attract hummingbirds and bees. The crested, or bearded, flowers make it easy to distinguish from the Iris verna which has a similar native range.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: MD, PA

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Iridaceae Iris family
Genus Iris iris
Species Iris cristata dwarf crested iris