The Garden   E F Home Co.
Heirloom Iris
Finding new favor in the
Is there any other plant in the garden that is
so standard? Iris come in so many forms and
colours that it can be almost over whelming to
a gardener. Pictured left are to such forms the
vibrant violet blue on the far left are
Siberian iris "Caesar's Brother" and next to it
(on far right) are German Bearded Iris. The
compliment of the two colours is so striking as
they rise above the foliage below.   
However, heirloom iris are being rediscovered and
with good reason. They are hearty and resistant.
Here are a few of our favorites that we grow at
Ephraim Farm.
Pictured on the right;
Honorabile appeared
sometime around 1840, and was already considered
a classic favourite in gardens by 1890. It is small
usually only reaching about 2ft tall with gold
standards and falls laced in a mahogany maroon. It
will easily grow in zones 3 - 7. It is also known as
Sans Souci.  
Wabash (pictured on left) was unveiled in 1936. It has
beautiful crisp silver white standards and the falls are a
striking royal purple with beards at the tops in vibrant
golden yellow. Arguably one of the most striking of the
heirloom iris. It has a fine soft iris scent. It can be tall; it
can reach 36" tall. Grows z 3 - 7.
Another favorite of ours here Ephraim Farm is Flavescens. It was
introduced around 1830 and has been going strong ever since. It
can grow to about 30" at bloom height, but it generally stays a little
under that in our gardens. Grows in z 3 - 7. We really like to use
this iris in areas that need a break up in color. The very pale yellow
of Flavescens makes a nice visual contrast to what might otherwise
be areas that are a bit dark.