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Iris ensata (Japanese iris)

Iris ensata Iris ensata 'Sensation' Photo/Illustration: Melissa Lucas


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Iris ensata EYE-riss en-SAY-tah Common Name: Japanese iris Synonyms: I. kaempferi Genus: Iris
This Laevigata iris bears 3 or 4 purple or red-purple blooms measuring 6 to 12 inches across, on single stems. Prominently ribbed leaves are 24 to 36 inches long. ‘Caprician Butterfly’ is a white, purple-veined cultivar.
Noteworthy characteristics: Most of the hybrids are 3 to 5 feet tall, suitable for the back of the border.
Care: Thrives in acidic, heavy, clay soils, and loves wet feet. Low maintenance, requiring only feeding and division every few years. Ideal for ponds, streams, or boggy areas. In beds, they require a few extra waterings in a season.
Propagation: Lift and divide clumps, or separate bulb offsets, and plant immediately, in early autumn.
Problems: Iris borer, verbena bud moth, whiteflies, iris weevil, thrips, slugs and snails, aphids, and nematodes.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium to Wet
Maintenance Low
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Blue Flower; Purple/ Lavender Flower; White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Waterside
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest
Type Perennials

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