Iris Cristata

Iris cristata
Mature Height: 6 to 10 inches
Mature Spread: 12 to 15 inches

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We love this little native iris because it grows quickly and has a simple elegant appeal. The dwarf crested iris is a small plant that grows 3-6” tall from underground rhizomes that branch away from established plants. In early spring, short stems will rise from the foliage to produce charming purple/blue flowers with white and gold crests on the falls. Native to North America it occurs naturally on rocky, well drained forest slopes that maintain soil moisture. In a garden, it will favor shady areas rich in organic matter that maintains consistent moisture. Like most irises it flowers early and in spectacular fashion creating blankets, or drifts, or light blue flowers that blanket the ground.


Photo Credit: Stonehouse Nursery

Bloom Color:Small elegant blue/purple flowers
Bloom Period:Early to late spring
Genus & Species:Iris cristata
Mature Height:6 to 10 inches
Mature Spread:12 to 15 inches
Plant Spacing:10 to 12 inches
Planting Depth:Crown level with the soil line
Planting Time:Division is preferred in fall, but also possible in spring
Soil Type:Drought tolerant once established - soil high in organic matter
Sun Exposure:Full shade to part shade
Zone:4 to 8

General care for any tree or shrub is easy, but like any living thing will require your attention. Please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.

Iris Cristata

Thrives in soils that drain well, but also maintain consistent moisture. Soil preparation is particularly important and a few years of hardwood mulch will go a long way toward creating a suitable environment for this iris. Supplemental water is important during hot dry periods, and part shade is the best environment for this iris. It can be grown in full sun, but if it is a consistent watering regiment must be maintained. Although it requires soil moisture it will not do well with excess water and must be planted in soil that drains well. Main pests are snails and slugs, so keep good airflow around that plant to reduce colonization and damage.

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