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Plant of the Month

 
 
Iris douglasiana 'Yellow'
April, 2017

 
Yellow Douglas Iris
 

This bright, cheerful Iris selection forms vigorous 2 to 3 foot wide clumps of arching, dark green sword shaped leaves. From spring to early summer 3 to 4 inch flowers arise on 1 to 2 foot high stems. The flowers of ‘Yellow’ are a beautiful sun-yellow with orange to orange-brown veins. Douglas irises are one tough customer that provide the gardener a range of uses. They are fabulous scattered under oaks or other dry shady areas, or massed to produce a grass-like ground cover. They can be planted in full sun along the coast and in filtered light inland. Irises are not finicky about soil types, but they prefer richer soils such as clay with some organic matter in the soil. Once established they do not need much water but they like a bit of water throughout their first year to get established. Remember, they may look like lush grass, but do not appreciate regular watering in summer months, when they are naturally adapted to little or no rainfall. They are an important nectar producer for native bees and also make great cut flowers.