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Heirloom Iris

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Order these spring-planted bulbs NOW for delivery next APRIL.


ENDURING PERENNIALS — Tough, beautiful, and diverse, heirloom iris thrive without care in old gardens and graveyards across America.

TO BLOOM THIS YEAR — Though iris are usually sold bare-root in summer and don’t bloom till the next, we ship freshly dug plants in April that, with good care and a bit of luck, may well bloom their first summer.

HISTORY & TIPS — Grown here since colonial days, iris became one of the “it” flowers of the Arts and Crafts era. They like full sun and well-drained soil. Learn more.


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IMMORTAL IRISSampler

Icons of the late-spring/early-summer garden, bearded iris are easy to grow and richly diverse. Give them full sun and average to well-drained soil and they’ll reward you for close to forever. We’ll send you 3 of our favorite heirlooms (a few possibilities are pictured here), all different, labeled, freshly dug from our Ann Arbor micro-farms, and great for zones 3a-8a(10aWC).

For more of each variety, order additional samplers. Iris care.

COS-33
1/$24
2/$45.50
3/$65
Limit 3, please.

ALCAZAR, 1910Rarest & It’s Back!

This famous iris is not only magnificently handsome, it’s also “a survivor par excellence,” to quote expert Cameron Hall, growing vigorously in old gardens and forgotten places from coast to coast. Introduced by Vilmorin of France, it was one of the first tetraploids, setting a ground-breaking new standard – taller, larger-flowered, and richly colored – for 20th-century iris. 38-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart and care.

IR-38
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
10/$80.50
Limit 10, please.

CORONATION, 1927It’s Back!

The perfect yellow iris? Could be! It’s not too pale, not too bright, tough enough to thrive in total neglect, and it blooms and blooms – often after all the other iris here in our micro-farms have called it quits for the season. Introduced by Agnes Moore of tiny Benton, Illinois, it has become, in the words of iris expert Mike Unser, “truly an iris classic.” 28-36”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart and care.

IR-37
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

CRIMSON KING, 1893Rarest & It’s Back!

The deep, almost iridescent red-purple of this fragrant iris – which cameras fail to capture – dazzled the world when it was first introduced by the legendary Peter Barr. Its blooms are often the first of iris season, and in zone-6 and warmer gardens it often reblooms in the fall. In fact, it’s become “ubiquitous in coastal California,” writes Clarence Mahan in Classic Irises, “where its reblooming habit has given it a place in the hearts and flower beds of generations of gardeners.” Just 22-26” tall, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

IR-07
1/$10
3/$28.50
5/$45
10/$85
Limit 10, please.

DEMI-DEUIL, 1912Rarest & New

After years of building up stock, we’re finally able to offer this unique little iris. Demi-deuil means “semi-mourning,” the period after full mourning when Victorians dressed in black and white, but by 1912 it was more commonly the name of a small, black and white butterfly. With its intricate filigree of darkest purple on white with touches of gold and brown, ‘Demi-Deuil’ is especially stunning up close, so be sure to pick at least one to enjoy indoors. 20-24”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart.

IR-46
1/$12
3/$34
5/$54
Limit 5, please.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, 1933

Short, early, and REBLOOMING, ‘Eleanor’ flowers at the very dawn of iris season and then again in the fall in warmer gardens. It’s an intensely deep reddish-purple with a fascinating iridescent sheen. Named for the First Lady who became one of the most admired people of the 20th century, this special iris deserves your vote! Just 20 inches tall, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

IR-05
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

INDIAN CHIEF, 1929Rarest & It’s Back!

With velvety, wine-red falls and glowing standards of raspberry to bronze, this tall, striking, Jazz Age iris is one of the most colorful we grow. It’s exceptionally vigorous, too, thriving on neglect in old gardens everywhere and blooming even in part shade. By the good Dr. Wylie Ayres of Cincinnati, 32-36”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart and care.

IR-12
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
10/$80.50
Limit 10, please.

LORELEY, 1909It’s Back!

Named for the golden-haired siren of the Rhine, this quirky flower was one of the most popular iris of the early 20th century. Its glowing, primrose-to-amber standards are held in an open, goblet-like form, and they’re often splashed with bits of the richly veined violet of the falls – two “imperfections” that somehow only add to its enduring appeal. By Germany’s Goos and Koenemann, 22-26”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart, care, and learn more.

IR-39
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
25/$160

MRS. HORACE DARWIN, 1888Rarest & It’s Back!

The violet reticulations on this elegant, not-so-big iris make it even more beautiful up close – and great for bouquets. Named for the wife of one of Darwin’s sons, it’s an enduring survivor by Sir Michael Foster “whose name shines more luminously than any other in the early history of garden iris” (Mahan, Classic Iris). Fragrant, 24-26”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart, care, and learn more.

IR-16
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
Limit 10, please.

QUAKER LADY, 1909It’s Back!

One of the best-loved American iris of all time, ‘Quaker Lady’ is a “dainty, charming” plant with flowers of “smoky lavender, bronze, purple, fawn, and old gold” (to quote AIS founder John Wister). And though beauty is only skin-deep, ‘Quaker Lady’ is also sturdy and care-free, multiplies quickly, and blooms with abandon. All in all, it’s a worthy monument to its creator, Bertrand Farr, the visionary Pennsylvania nurseryman who did more than anyone else to make iris one of the signature plants of the early 20th-century garden. 27-30”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart, care, and learn more.

IR-08
1/$8.50
3/$24
5/$38
10/$72
25/$170

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