Finding North American Irises

May 17, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. For many years the irises we grew in our yards were Siberian, Dutch, German or Japanese irises. Now, however, with the new interest in native plants,   it’s easy to find North American species that are ethically collected and propagated.     For damp areas or in a good irrigated garden soil, Louisiana irises are ideal. These are vigorous plants with no pests or disease problems, they are even deer resistant should would be beautiful at the edge of a pond.      One cultivar that will appeal to certain South Carolinians is Black Gamecock – a six inch flower on a three foot stem that’s such a dark purple     it’s almost black.     But don’t despair   If that doesn’t appeal to you -- there are over 300 named Louisiana irises to choose from and they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.