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Order these summer-planted bulbs NOW for delivery in July.

All bulbs for summer 2023 are SOLD OUT.

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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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-farm, and great for zones 3a-8a(10aWC).

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

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We’re big fans of smaller iris. They’re graceful, charming, and – at about two feet tall – combine beautifully with other perennials near the front of a sunny border. We’ll send you 3 of our favorites (a few possibilities are pictured here), all different, labeled, freshly dug from our Ann Arbor micro-farm, and great for zones 3a-8a(10aWC).

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

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Caprice iris     1898
It’s Back!

“‘I smell ripe grapes!’ cried a freckle-faced boy” in Ella McKinney’s 1927 Iris in the Little Garden – but it was actually this richly fragrant iris he smelled. It’s richly colored, too, a pure, deep, glowing rose that drew me like a beacon when I first saw it at our local Farmers Market many years ago. Just 24-26 inches tall, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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With velvety falls of deep oxblood to burgundy, this small-flowered French iris was the “reddest” of its era, and it’s still a knockout today. Strong-growing and floriferous with a light fragrance that’s been compared to honey locust, it’s an iris that, as Lee Bonnewitz wrote in his 1926 catalog, “I believe all American iris lovers will be glad to own.” 30-32”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Coronation iris     1927
It’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-farm 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-farm. Chart and care.

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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 our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Dauntless iris     1929
Rarest & It’s Back!

With velvety petals of burgundy and rose, ‘Dauntless’ is one of the oldest and best of the so-called “red” irises. It was introduced by Nashville’s Clarence Connell in 1929, beating out ‘Indian Chief’ to win the Dykes Medal as the year’s finest iris. On “tall heavy stems,” its luxurious blooms “last over a long season” (Cooley’s, 1937). 34-38”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

Limit 5, please.
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Flavescens iris     1813
It’s Back!

Lauren Springer in Passionate Gardening tells of collecting a bit of this incredibly tough, moonlight yellow iris from “two shimmering clumps” at an abandoned homesite in Wyoming, way out in the middle of nowhere. “Perhaps someday,” she muses, “it will be all that remains of my house and garden.” (See a triumphant swath of it gone wild in Kansas.) Lemon fragrance, 30”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Florentina iris     1500
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If I could grow only one iris, this might be it. Its color is a pale, luminous pewter – unique and ravishing. Its falls are long, like the ears of a basset hound. Its blooms kick off iris season. And its history is deep. Although modern scholars say it’s not the I. florentina or “white iris” of ancient times – now I. albicans – since at least the 1500s its rhizomes have been dried and sold as orris-root, a prized ingredient in herbal medicines and perfumery. Learn more here. Zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Frank Adams iris     1937
It’s Back!

With its exotic blend of parchment, bronze, rust, rose, and oxblood, this intriguing iris adds a note of “unusual warmth and vibrancy” (Schreiner’s, 1946) to the early summer garden. It was bred in Elkhart, Indiana, by E.G. Lapham, president of the Elkhart Rubber Works, who swore that the irises he grew behind his factory weren’t a distraction but a “life-saver.” 38-46”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Germanica iris     1500
It’s Back!

This iconic flower could be called the original bearded iris. Fragrant and tough, it was grown in ancient Rome, carried east on the Silk Road, and by 1629 was so widely planted in England that Parkinson called it “the common purple flower-de-luce.” It’s also the iris immortalized by Van Gogh in his masterpiece Irises which sold in 1987 for a record-setting $54 million. 30-36”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

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Honorabile iris     1840
Rarest & It’s Back!

This tough little charmer, carried across the country by the pioneers, flourishes today in thousands of old gardens, cemeteries, and abandoned homesites from Bangor to Santa Barbara. Although our photo may make it look brassy or plain, in the garden here its small, cheery flowers of chestnut and gold have won it many fans. Some experts claim that, due to a mix-up 150 years ago, its real name is ‘Sans Souci’, but we’re unconvinced — and whatever you call it, this is a richly historic and rewarding iris. 20-24 inches, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Loreley iris     1909
It’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-farm. Chart and care.

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Mrs. Horace Darwin iris     1888
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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 own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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pallida Dalmatica iris     1597
It’s Back!

This is the iris of my childhood, and maybe yours – tall, pale lavender, tough as nails, with a Concord grape fragrance that, as Elizabeth Lawrence wrote, “fills the borders and drifts into the house.” In his monumental Herbal of 1597, Gerard called it “the great Floure de-luce of Dalmatia” and praised its tall stalks, “faire large floures,” and “exceedingly sweet” scent. Even its leaves are beautiful! Stately but down-home, it’s a quintessential iris – and somehow makes everything around it look better. (See it farmed in Italy for making perfumes and gin.) 36-38”, zones 3a-8a(10bWC), from our own micro-farm. Chart and care.

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Quaker Lady iris     1909
It’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 and care.

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Swerti iris     1612
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This grape-scented beauty was first pictured 400 years ago in the lavish Florilegium of Emmanuel Sweert, a Dutch artist and nurseryman who was head gardener for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Although it’s often confused with ‘Madame Chereau’ (see them side-by-side here), its curled, pointed falls are distinct – and charming. As for its spelling, although Sweert’s name has two Es, and ‘Sweertii’ would be correct by modern rules, we’re sticking with the historic ‘Swerti’. 30-36”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

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Demi-Deuil iris     1912
It’s Back!

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 own micro-farm. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, click here to sign up for an email alert.

SOLD OUT
SOLD OUT

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Eleanor Roosevelt iris     1933
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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. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, click here to sign up for an email alert.

SOLD OUT
SOLD OUT