Painted Lady Iris
Painted Lady Iris
There's definitely an Impressionist quality to Painted Lady, her elegant, upward-curving cream petals the canvas for a painterly veining of deep lavender that fades gently to the softest blue towards the edges, a faint blush of yellow completing the picture. Big and bold it is not (but if you prefer your irises that way, there are other varieties that will suit). Yet first impressions can be misleading: Painted Lady is a tough, hardly little iris that can push its way up bravely through a blanket of snow making her a worthy member of our range of rockery bulbs for sale
Colour by numbers
There's a trick to the planting with Iris reticulata. You want a nice big group for impact, yet position the bulbs too close and you'll lose the definition on that glorious petal shape. So don't pack them in too tight. In terms of where to plant, they're natives of the bright stony slopes of Turkish and Russian mountains, so a sunny rockery or alpine bed makes the perfect home, where Painted Lady combines well with creeping thymes, spring gentians or Crocus tommasinianus. Or pop these pale beauties on the sunny side of an evergreen hedge: the dark backdrop provides the perfect foil for their delicate charms. They're equally alluring grouped under scented shrubs such as daphnes, or an early-flowering cherry tree. In pots, Painted Lady makes an arresting pairing with Muscari or deep-purple winter-flowering violas.
- Colour: ivory and lavender-blue, with a hint of yellow
- Height: 10-12cm
- Scent: none
- Flowering: January-March
- Bulb Size: 5-6cm
- Planting Depth: 2 to 3 times the height of the bulb
- Planting Months: late September - early November
What's in a name?
Reticulate means netted, or reticulated, so reticulata is a species that takes its name from the subtle net-like pattern on the dry bulbs. Iris, of course, is the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow - so just picture a rainbow dancing merrily in a tutu…