This dark beauty has quietly achieved popularity with its seductive color combination. Baltic Star’s moderately sized ruffled flowers feature deep purple-black standards and tri-colored falls. Note how the dramatic white pattern around the brown beards warms to rich purple at the center of the falls and then darkness to near black at the edges. The Bearded Iris makes a wonderful cut flower, lasting a week or more. They are well suited for meadows, woodland gardens and borders.
Bearded Iris: Iris germanica, is a hardy, long-lived perennial that requires a minimum of maintenance. The flowers have six petals, three upright petals (called standards) and three hanging petals (called falls). A fuzzy line or beard runs down the middle of each fall. Flowers come in many colors including blue, pink, purple, reddish, white, yellow, and bi-colors. Most Bearded Iris flower in the spring (April to June depending on cultivar), but some of the new cultivars re-flower in the summer and fall. The second flower display is not as showy as the spring display but lasts into the fall. Many re-blooming iris are fragrant. Iris have thick, fleshy, underground stems (called rhizomes) that store food produced by the sword-shaped, semi-evergreen leaves. The rhizomes grow best when planted at or slightly below the soil surface with feeder roots penetrating the soil below. Each year underground offsets develop from the original rhizome. Buds produce a large fan of leaves and several flower stalks. Success with iris depends on keeping the rhizomes firm and healthy. In general, this is done by providing the rhizome good drainage while the feeder roots below remain moist but not wet.