Species Iris Group of North America
Publications ⚜ Species Database ⚜ Spec-X ⚜ IOTM
There are some groups of bulbous irises that deserve special mention here. They go by different names such as Dutch Iris, English Iris, Spanish Iris, Xiphiums, Reticulatas, and Junos. These species range from northern Africa & western Europe to central Asia.
Reticulatas are a group of about a dozen species of dwarf irises that grow just a few inches tall. Some botanists classify them in Genus Iridodictyum but SIGNA follows the more common convention of placing them in Genus Iris. Reticulatas are some of the earliest irises to bloom, often with snow still on the ground. Most of them come from mountainous or forested regions from Turkey to Crimea to Iran. They are very popular with rock gardeners as they are bright, colorful, and small in stature.
Junos are a group of about 60 species of irises with bulbs and generally fleshy roots. One species hails from the Mediterranean. The others come from southwestern to central Asia. They have unique foliage that somewhat resembles a cornstalk instead of a normal iris fan. This results in some botanists placing them in Genus Juno, but SIGNA follows the convention of placing them in Genus Iris. They're also sometimes called Scorpiris, which is the name of the subgenus to which they belong.
Xiphium is a subgenus of Iris consisting of 8 species from southwestern Europe and northern Africa which have large, smooth bulbs. They have been in cultivation since the 19th century. Subgroups are known as Spanish, English, and Dutch irises.
|Reticulata iris hybrid seedling '05-GS-2' photo by Al McMurtrie. Iris magnifica photo by Jim Murrain. Iris tingitana photo by Ken Walker.|