The upright foliage and stately flowers of Dutch irises (Iris hollandica) add structure and beauty to the late spring garden. Dutch irises are hybrids of species irises from Spain and Morocco.
The thin, lance-shaped leaves of Dutch irises are 20 to 24 inches tall. The flowers are shades of purple, white or yellow. Some flowers are bicolor.
Dutch irises can be grown in a flower bed or in a mass planting. If left undisturbed, they will multiply and colonize the area where they are growing. Dutch irises can also be grown in containers.
Dutch irises are grown as cut flowers because of the long, straight stems that hold the flowers. They should not be arranged in a vase with daffodils or narcissus due to a chemical interaction between the plants.
Dutch iris bulbs should be planted in the fall in well-drained soil in full sun. The holes for the bulbs should be 6 inches deep, and 4 to 6 inches apart. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8.
Although there are numerous color combinations of Dutch irises, some exceptionally beautiful varieties are the purplish-black "Tiger's Eye," the creamy white and yellow "Saturnus," and the deep blue "Imperator."
Iris, the Greek word for rainbow, refers to the many colors of the flowers.
The fleur-de-lis (Flower of Louis) is a stylized iris. It has been the symbol of France since the sixth century A.D.
- North Carolina State University Extension
Dutch iris, Dutch iris bulbs, Iris hollandica, Iris hollandica bulbs
About this Author
Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.