Inimitable spuria irises
Among all the irises, the most extravagant flowers can boast of killer whales from the subgenus Xiridion, better known by the name spuria iris. They rightfully earned the title of an exclusive, rare plant, claiming the status of one of the brightest stars in any garden. And even though they differ in particularly spectacular greenery, it was their unusual beauty of flowers that fully compensates for all the shortcomings.
Exclusive status of unique beauties
Spuria irises are considered the most stellar and prestigious representatives of a kind. They cannot compete in prevalence with either bearded irises, or even Siberian ones, and we still remain an exclusive novelty and rarely appear in catalogs, but they are absolutely inimitable in terms of flowering and its beauty. If all the other irises are similar to each other and are easily recognizable in form, then the representatives of the spuria group always seem outlandish and certainly the most original among all the irises.
Unusual flowers, like all other irises, consist of three lower and three upper perianth lobes. But the similarity ends here. The lower lobes of spuria irises are unusually curly, at their ends there is an almost round limb-plate, to which a horizontal, groove-shaped and very long marigold leads. The upper or inner lobes are also elongated, oval or linguistic, slightly inferior in size to the outer ones and widely spread. Drops of nectar appear outside this tube from this iris, attracting not only flying insects, but also ants.
The appearance of spuria iris resembles strange orchids to many, and such associations are indeed appropriate. But the main advantage can rightfully be called not an outlandish form, but a combination of unusual appearance with the longevity of flowers: unlike other irises, spuria flowers do not fade for a week, and all flowering lasts longer than for bearded irises. The greenery is also very good: surprisingly elongated and pointed xiphoid leaves are bright, large, create architectural and graphic accents, in terms of effectiveness they are only slightly inferior to Japanese irises and surpass bearded ones.
The flowering of representatives of the subgenus xiridion, on average, begins 3 weeks later than in bearded irises. Many varieties of spuria iris show off flowers in July. This is one of the most late-flowering representatives of the family, which allows you to stretch the watercolor wave of flowering irises for many months.
Unusual accents for any composition
Representatives of this group of irises are grown both for floristry and as exotic accents on flower beds. They look great in landscape ensembles and lush compositions, create a beautiful background throughout the active season thanks to tall leaves with strict lines. They can also be used to decorate rabatki, mixborders, front gardens, combined narrow borders. All spuria irises are perfectly combined with other species and varieties, suitable for creating a relay race of flowering irises in the garden.
Species and varieties of spuria iris suitable for cultivation in the middle lane
The irises of the Spuria group bred more than 600 different varieties, and the number of natural species is estimated at two dozen. But most species plants require conditions that are not typical of our climate and will not be able to adapt not so much to frosts as to the peculiarities of summer, which should be hot, long and dry for them. Of the basic species for the middle zone, two species are considered the most suitable, which are also found in our country - Sogdian irises and salt-loving.
Iris is solubilous - a tall species, most often found on the saline shores of water bodies, and in gardens it feels good in ordinary soil. Its peduncles reach 70 cm in height, up to 5 flowers bloom on them with different watercolor shades of yellow paint with greenish spots. He has decorative forms with golden flowers.
Iris Sogdian reaches a height of half a meter. This is a medium-sized spuria iris, whose flowers are elegant, painted in pale blue or classic purple with yellow spots. It has beautiful broad leaves of a typical xiphoid shape with a pointed apex.
Of the other species of spuria - eastern, Monier, false false, Muslim, grassy and others - it is worth deciding on experiments only when the plant is already cultivated in your area and there are examples of its successful cultivation.
But when buying spuria irises, first of all look for non-species irises: preference should be given to modern hybrids, varietal specimens with proven qualities. The best candidates for decorating your garden are varieties already adapted in local nurseries or grown by local gardeners (then the probability of planting will be much lower). Hybrid varieties of spuria are less demanding on growing conditions; they adapt well to garden conditions and typical soils on flower beds. Although, even with the selection of proven varieties, the cultivation of spuria irises is carried out “by trial and error.
The best varieties of iris spuria:
- a snow-white with a yellow spot at the base of the perianth, a hybrid of the eastern iris “Frigia” and other white varieties ‘Ila Remembered’ and ‘Highline Snowflake’;
- Golden-flowered ‘Vintage Years’, ‘Sunrise in Missouri’ and the corrugated Archie Owen;
- но Imperial Bronze ’, as if cast in bronze, with a unique combination of bright yellow and dark veins;
- ‘Sultan’s Sash’ of a rich purple color with surprisingly touching yellow veins on the outer petals and a lavender-like Belize in a pattern;
- ‘Missouri Rivers’ with a deep blue color and a beautiful yellow spot on the lower petals,
- ‘Blueberry Sundae’ with dark blue border decorated with lower petals, a bright yellow eye and dark blue upper perianth;
- ‘Chocolate Fudge’, exquisite and watercolor, inviting to admire the transitions of golden and brown tones and also painted in the brown palette ‘Red Oak’, ‘Cunnamon Stick’;
- two-color Zamboanga variety with golden lower petals and reddish brown upper, decorated with beautiful veins and an unusual edge and similar to it, but more brown ‘Sunrise in Sonora’;
- almost black dark red with a luminous gold spot grade ‘Zulu Chief’ and more ink ‘Mighty Dark’;
- bright orange ‘Sonoran Senorita’ and ‘Destination’;
- pale lilac variety ‘Midrib Magic’, lavender Innovator and lilac amethyst ‘Midnight Rival’;
- combining a bright yellow color and a white wavy border on the lower perianth with the snow-white upper petals of “Infini” and others.
The hybrids' Farolito ',' Missouri Gal ',' Twilight Mode ',' Larkspur ',' Sunny Day ',' Missoury Streams', 'Missouri Blue' and other 'Missouri' varieties, ' Golden Lady ',' Driftwood ',' Lankaran ', etc.
Conditions comfortable for spuria irises
Spuria irises are one of the most heat-tolerant species of the genus. They are most often found in nature in desert and steppe regions, therefore they are used to drought and the bright sun. Among the species, there are plants that prefer moist soils and live in nature near ponds, but even capricious varieties easily tolerate summer drought. The natural properties of plants are only enhanced by hybridization and selection, which further increases the drought tolerance of varieties of this group.
For these irises, the most lighted areas should be selected, especially in regions with severe winters. They are not afraid of wind and drafts, grow well in any neutral or calcareous soil containing a sufficient amount of humus, fertile, not overly heavy, drained and of high quality.
Landing spuria iris
The process of planting these irises, as well as their behavior in the soil, are significantly different from the most popular and familiar bearded irises. The optimal period for landing in the middle lane is August and the first half of September, while it is better not to postpone the landing and spend it in late summer. At the end of the spuria vegetation, irises are buried in the soil, the upper part of the rhizome itself is “drawn in”, which makes them much more resistant to frost.
Spuria irises are planted so that the links are located at a depth of 5-6 cm (no more than 10 cm) from the soil surface or as the plant grew in the previous place (thanks to the noticeably whitened areas it is easy to determine the installation level and not to dip the irises into the soil too deep) . When planting, consider the distance so that the rhizomes have room to grow: they grow 6-10 cm in a year, so it’s better to leave at least 40-50 cm between the plants.
The specifics of spuria iris care
Spuria irises do not need irrigation, except for possible periods of extremely long drought during the flowering period. But top dressing should be regular, in an amount of at least 3 procedures per season. Organic fertilizers for xyridion are not used, limited only to full mineral fertilizers. Regular weeding should be carried out throughout the active season, and carefully sprinkle old bare rhizomes with fresh soil, maintaining a constant level of penetration. In the first year of planting spuria, irises are best covered with an extra layer of mulch for the winter.
Needs for transplanting spuria iris
The irises of the subgenus Xyridion are durable, and this is another trump card. They are in one place capable of blooming tirelessly for 10-15 years. Spuria irises do not like transplants and adapt for a long time in a new place (sometimes up to 2-3 years), while changing the location it is better to immediately divide and rejuvenate.
Propagation of iris spuria
Irises of the spuria group are propagated by separation of rhizomes. It can be carried out only in favorable times for planting, in August-September. The key features of these plants include poor survival of delenoks after drying, but it is also relative.
If the plants are active, woke up after a summer dormancy, “woke up” by the rains, the separation process should be carried out quickly, immediately placing the plant in the soil at a new cultivation site. They are not sensitive to spuria being taken out of the soil only during the dormant period, when growth stops completely and they can make even months-long buybacks for transportation. The rest of the separation process is similar to bearded irises.