Iris is a genus of more than 250 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for rainbow referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the various species. The two main basic types of iris are the bulbous ones (which we describe here) and the rhizomatous ones which are considered perennials (the most familiar being Iris germanica and Iris sibirica).
The bulb forming species of iris are very useful for garden planting and 'Dutch Iris' are also very suitable for cutflowers. The smaller species are ideal for rock gardens or to brighten a border. As most other bulbs Iris too prefer a well drained soil. The 'Dutch Iris' are available both in Fall (best for moderate climates) and in Spring (good for planting in colder climates). Always plant them in groups of at least 10-15 close together to create the best effect. See the individual species for more specific tips.