Iris unguicularis

Common Name:
Winter iris
Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Iridaceae (The Iris Family)
Geographic Origin:
Mediterranean Region
California Native?:
Plant Size:
12 inches high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Winter and spring
Flower Color:
Lavender blue
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to little watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 15 degrees F. or less
This lovely iris from the Mediterranean region brings the gardener a bit of spring cheer in the depths of winter, blooming with the daffodils. It makes dense evergreen thickets with dark, shiny narrow leaves up to 2 feet long. Nestled among them on short stems but elevated on long tubes are lightly fragrant lavender blue flowers with white markings, up to 3 inches broad. The segments are held erect for half their length, then spread abruptly. It can grow in sun or shade, with moderate to little summer watering.