Iris pseudacorus 'Clotted Cream' is a rare and lovely, palest buttermilk form of Iris pseudacorus that has exquisitely marked and veined petals. It is a very desirable plant that comes relatively true from seed.
Although it will grow large in a damp or wet spot, pond edge or on the margins of a water feature, it also does perfectly well in a dry garden.
Sowing: Sow from Autumn to Spring
Keep the seeds in packaging in a fridge until they are planted. Seeds need cold in order to be able to germinate. There are two methods that can be used to break the dormancy of the seeds. Before planting soak the seeds in water. Take one cup of hot (not boiling) tap water, add the seed, let it cool and let soak for 24 hours.
The Natural Method.
One way is to “Winter Sow” the seeds. Sow seeds in moisture retentive compost 6mm (1/8th) inch deep, before winter, and place it in a sheltered part of the garden exposed to the elements, in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. The seed trays then have the benefits of the repeated chill and thaw that it would naturally. Grit can be used to protect the seed and surface of the soil.
The alternative method is to subject them to a period of cold “stratification” for two to three months prior to planting. To do this, place the seeds either in a dampened piece of kitchen roll, in a small plastic bag or in a small container filled with slightly moist soil, moss or sand
Place them in the fridge (not freezer) Check seeds periodically as germination may occur while in the fridge. Plant out into 7cm (3in) pots as they germinate.
Seeds may take from 30 to 180 days to germinate, so let the pot sit for at least one year.
They look a little like grass spikes, they must be kept moist at all times: check them regularly and pot on once they are large enough to handle. Grow seedlings in a cool environment after germination. Plant outside after seedlings have been hardened off.
Iris are easily cultivated, they enjoy moist growing conditions. For best blooming plant in moist fertile soil if in full sun, otherwise they can be planted in shade.
Once established these are very hardy perennials and require little maintenance.
Plants require two years before they will produce flowers but they are well worth the wait. Established plants should be divided after every three years. Before and after planting and flowering, cut the leaves to 15cm (6in) to prevent the rhizome being dislodged by wind-rock.
Beds and Borders, Water Features, Ponds and Streams, Bog Gardens.
This Iris is one of the easiest, and showiest, of native aquatics for the home gardener.
The roots of Iris are used to make natural dyes. When used with an alum mordant will give shades of dark bluish purple to black.
Iris pseudacorus is a species of Iris, native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. One of only two native irises (the other being Iris foetidissima), it can be found throughout the county in wet meadows, wet woodlands, lakes, ponds, canals and rivers. The Yellow Iris is a common plant across the British Isles, apart from the Scottish Highlands, but is the only wild Iris in Northern Ireland.
Yellow Iris used to be more widespread in marshes, fens and wet meadows and loss of many of these habitats through drainage in the past century means that is now more typically associated with standing and running water. However, it remains a common and familiar species and is not considered to be threatened. In fact it is often introduced to newly-created ponds and lakes as a desirable marginal plant.
The iris's history is rich, dating back to Ancient Greek times. Iris was a Greek messenger-goddess who rode rainbows between heaven and earth to deliver messages from Olympus. With over 200 varieties in a wide spectrum of colours, the iris fittingly takes its name from the Greek word for "rainbow".
Its specific name, pseudacorus, refers to its similarity to another plant, pseudo being the Greek for false, while acorus is the generic name of the Sweet Sedge (Acorus calamus), with which it is supposed to have been confused, the plants when not in flower resembling it and growing in the same situations. The Sweet Sedge, however, has an aromatic scent, while Iris pseudacorus is odourless.
Common names include 'Flag' or ‘Yellow Flag’. The name flag is from the middle English flagge, meaning rush or reed.
A local name, Segg, comes from the Anglo-Saxon for a short sword, and many of the common names such as Daggers and Jacob's Sword refer to the blade-like character of the leaves.
History and Legend:
According to legend, the first person to wear the iris as a heraldic device was Clovis, who became king of the Franks in the late 5th century. He drove the Romans out of northern Gaul, converted to Christianity, and changed the three toads on his banner for three yellow irises.
One of he legends attached to Clovis’s conversion tells of his promise to his wife Clothilde, that if he won his battle against the Goths, he would convert to her religion, Catholicism. In the course of the battle, the outcome was becoming doubtful and he needed to cross a river to surprise the enemy from behind. He saw a colony of yellow irises in the river, indicating that the waters were shallow at that point. His army crossed and won the battle.
Clovis converted to Catholicism. He abandoned the emblem on his coat of arms and adopted the yellow irises as his new emblem.
Six centuries later, the iris was adopted by Louis VII in the fleur-de-lys which he wore in his crusade against the Saracens—‘lys’ is a corruption of ‘Louis’, it became known as Fleur de Louis, corrupted into Fleur de Luce and then into Fleur de Lys or Lis.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Family Iridaceae Genus Iris Species pseudacorus Cultivar Clotted Cream Common Name Fleur-de-lys Other Common Names Fleur de Luce Other Language Names IR. Feileastram siolastrach Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Cream with exquisitely marked and veined petals Natural Flower Time Late spring to early summer. Foliage Dark Green, sword shaped Height 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in) Spread 38 to 45cm (15 to 18in) Position Full sun or partial shade Time to Sow Sow from Autumn to Spring