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Iris Spuria 

Spuria Arbitrator, 46 inches tallGardening has taught me the virtues of patience. I have just ordered some new plants that will not bloom next season, even though I will be planting them next month. They are all part of the Spuria family of late blooming beardless Irises that I stumbled upon while reading a colleague’s garden blog.



Spuria Golden Lady, 54 inches tall.I am indebted to Helen of Toronto Gardens for posting  pictures of this perennial to her blog last summer. Before then, I had never seen an Iris as tall as some Spuria. What is ironic is that the tallest Spuria flowers in gold, which is not my favorite color. I use it sparingly in the garden and only where it is necessary or most effective.



Spuria Russian Blue, 48 inches tall.My excitement, on first discovering Spuria, was all about its height. Furthermore, this family is the last Iris to bloom in the spring which means that other early summer perennials might be blooming at that time. In my imagination, I can already see endless, interesting, flower combinations as there are not many perennials that will bloom that tall so early in the growing season.


Spuria Snow hawk, 48 inches tall.In addition to gold Spuria, there are other varieties available, some not as tall, and since I was obliged to place a minimum order of $50, I took advantage of that requirement to select several different colors for my garden. There is always a sense of excitement about ordering and receiving new plants. At best, they enrich the portfolio of plants that I use when designing gardens and at least, they elaborate the assortment of plants that I grow for my own pleasure.

Here is some information about this perennial that might be useful:

  • Spuria will grow under the same conditions as bearded [Germanica] Irises.
  • This plant requires full sun and good drainage. Too much humidity will cause rot.
  • Plant goes dormant in August, when its foliage needs to be cut down.
  • This perennial is touted to be a keeper as 10 to 15 year old clumps, that spread 5 to 6 feet, are not unusual.
  • Once established, it is a drought tolerant plant.
  • It cannot tolerate drought during transplanting, which can only occur in the fall. Roots need to be kept moist during this transition, until plant starts to grow.
  • This plant resents being moved and it will not bloom in the first season after transplanting.

I suppose that means that I should not expect to see very much next spring. Oh well, so much for excitement over new plants. Waiting two years to see this Iris bloom is going to be hard work.

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Reader Comments (4)

These look very interesting. I have never heard of this type of iris. Maybe the lack of bloom is typical of many iris since I moved some last year and they did not bloom this year. Now I have to move them again this year because they were crowded out by Becky. Oh well, it will probably be another year before they bloom.


August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

Lovely pics! So much more elegant than beardeds. I'm planting some this fall... we'll see how they do.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Tychonievich

I couldn't agree more with the patience. Although I could get results faster, I enjoy the different methods of propagation, and grow from seed or vegetatively, even though I know I may have to wait a year or more for most of the perennials I grow. There's nothing like the anticipation of what the next year's going to bring, and that more than makes up for the lack of instant gratification. I love the Spuria snow hawk and the way it looks like the edges are frosted. Very delicate.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Ueda

This is a new iris to me. I love the look of it and the fact that its bloom time would overlap with the siberian irises and extend the iris season into high summer. I definitely need to consider these.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean

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