Bearded irises - bright parade
With the advent of summer comes the kingdom of the first summer flowers - irises. These flowers delight us most often with their flowering during the summer thunderstorms, after which a rainbow of colored radiance appears in the sky. The legends of many peoples of the world are dedicated to Iris, and their beautiful flowers are paid tribute to them. These flowers, from snow-white to bright black, reflect all the colors of the rainbow.
Flowers owe their name to the botanist - the taxonomist Karl Linnaeus, who gave such a name to irises in honor of the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow - Irida. She was the daughter of Tavmant and Okeanida Electra.
The ancient Greeks, like the Romans, considered Irida a mediator between gods and people, which, like a rainbow, born after rain, connects heaven and earth. The ancient Greeks called the rainbow iris, and therefore the flower, similar to the rainbow in color, began to be called iris, considering the flowers to be fragments of a rainbow that fell on the ground.
The modern flora has about 300 species of iris, but bearded irises are the most popular among gardeners, about 35,000 varieties have been created. In ornamental gardening, small-flowered Siberian and Japanese irises are also grown.
Bearded irises have a “beard” on the lower petals - a strip of delicate villi, often contrasting with the color of the flower. The flower is “two-story”, six petals are arranged in two tiers: three with a dome rise up, and three gently lower the ends down. In color and richness of shades, irises compete with the rainbow, in addition, they also combine colors.
A large group of species and varieties of Bearded irises belongs to the subgenus Iris, to the section Iris.
The section represents the most complex and interesting group. Rhizome of clearly visible annual thickenings - links, slightly deepened into the soil or crawling along its surface, growing to the sides and forming a loose thicket. The links can be quite thick and bare, the basal leaves are wide. The flower is large, brightly colored.
Section views are characterized by the presence on the outer perianth lobes of the beard of numerous hairs, from light yellow to dark orange in color, often white and purple. All representatives of the section are highly decorative.
The type species of the genus - German Iris (Iris germanica.) Was described by K. Linnaeus in 1753. It is very rare in nature. As a rule, hybrids of German iris, pale iris, and hybrids are grown in the gardens. motley and others. Therefore, it is more correct to call them varieties of hybrid iris (Iris hybrida hort.).
Types of irises
Whitish iris - Iris albicans
It originates from the Arabian Peninsula, where from time immemorial it has been widespread in the culture of the Arabs as a perennial for home gardens and cemeteries. From the Arabs came to the Spaniards and spread widely in the Mediterranean countries. It is one of the founders of medium-sized varieties I. hybrida hort.
Close to I. germanica. It is distinguished by a shorter peduncle, wide basal leaves, somewhat curled in length by the end of the growing season, and the shape of the outer perianth lobes: on a living flower, they appear to be peaked because of the ends of their lamellas folded inward (a species sign). The color of the flowers is predominantly white, however, one of the forms of this species has crimson-purple flowers.
Iris Alberta - Iris Albertii
Central Asian species. Distributed in the Tien Shan. In the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau, Alai and Ferghana ranges it reaches a height of 1700-2000 m above the level. m and above. Endem (i.e., relatively small territories are characteristic of the species).
Almost not found in culture. The leaves are broad-eyed, purple-violet at the base. Peduncle up to 60 cm tall, branched at the top. The flowers are purple, less often - white, odorless, in an amount of 3-5. It blooms in May and early June; bears fruit in August. The box is cylindrical, with no noticeable ribs. The seeds are dark brown.
Winter-hardy. Recommended for rocky slides and mixborders.
Leafless Iris - Iris aphylla
European look. Widely distributed in the European part of Russia: Volga-Don region, Trans-Volga region. Outside of Russia - in Central and Eastern Europe. Mostly grows in thickets of shrubs, at the edges, in forest glades, on loamy or rocky soils. Leaves for winter completely falling, spring appearing later than peduncles. Hence the name of the species - leafless.
It is included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation as a vulnerable, endangered species. It is protected in sanctuaries of the Moscow, Rostov and Saratov regions. Introduced into introduction in Moscow, Stavropol, St. Petersburg, Chita. It shows steady results outside the range.
Perennial plant with a thin rhizome up to 2 cm thick. The leaves are linear-xiphoid up to 45 cm long, often sickle-curved, narrowed at the ends to a pointed point. By winter, the leaves die off, for which the species was called leafless. Peduncle branching from the base, up to 50 cm tall, usually bears 3-5 flowers of bright purple color, up to 7 cm across.
The base of the flowers is covered by strongly swollen, leathery leaves of the wrapper. Perianth is correct, with a small tube and six-section limb. On the external slightly bent lobes there are white, yellow or lilac “beards” of numerous hairs. It blooms in late spring - early summer. The fruit is a cylindrical box. Winter-hardy.
Within the range, it gives a large number of forms that differ in leaf size, branching characteristics of peduncles, size and color of the bolls. In Moldova, there are forms with boxes of bright reddish-purple.
Iris Astrakhan - Iris astrachanica
It is found along slopes of beams, on dry plateaus among desert-steppe forbs in the eastern regions of Stavropol, Kalmykia, and the areas of the Volga and Ural rivers adjacent to the Caspian Sea.
The species is evolutionarily young, probably of a hybrid origin (I. pumilaxl. Scariosaxl. Timofejewii). It differs from I. scariosa in the structure of pollen grain exins (the latter is cellular in I. scariosa and warty in I. astrachanica) and in the number of chromosomes in the cells. It blooms in early spring; bears fruit in early summer. Characterized by increased vitality, polychrome, or multi-color flowers, it is interesting as a dwarf border iris, as well as as a material for selection.
Iris Forked, or Horned - Iris furcata
The Caucasian species, represented by a few populations of a small northern fragment of the range on the territory of the Russian North Caucasus. It grows in the foothills on the slopes of various exposures, lighting and soil moisture. On dry, open to the sun mountain terraces, on grassy slopes, in a forest strip up to 2200 m. There are plants with a single-flower peduncle, often mistaken for I. pumila plants.
As a result of the later flowering, I. furcata usually does not produce interspecific hybrids at the sites of co-growth with I. pumila. It is included in the Red Book of the Stavropol Territory as rare. None of the reserves is protected. Introduced into introduction in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stavropol. It shows steady results outside the range.
It is good for hybridization (as a paternal form) with other types of bearded irises, as well as their varieties, as it persists in transmitting symptoms.
In the foothills of the North Caucasus, the most typical forms of I. furcata are found, which contain 2 times less chromosomes in root cells than I. aphylla plants (2n = 48) from forest-steppe regions of the European part of Russia. In Transcaucasia, plants intermediate between I. furcata and I. aphylla type are more often observed.
German Iris - Iris germanica
Described in Germany in the XIX century. according to the cultural pattern. It is rare in nature. 3. T. Artyushenko was found in Transcarpathia, in the vicinity of Vinogradovo, on the Black Mountain.
The leaves are broad-eyed, bluish - 35-40 (50) cm long., 20-30 mm wide. Peduncle branched, equal to or longer than the leaves - 40-100 cm long. The flowers are large, bluish-purple, with a strong pleasant aroma, with a yellowish or light bluish beard. The box is oblong-oval. Seeds are dark brown, wrinkled. It blooms in June, bears fruit in August.
Iris Bluish - Iris glaucescens
The species is represented by the few populations found in Russia on the border of its range. In Russia, it grows in the south of Western Siberia. Outside of Russia - in Central Asia (Kazakhstan), in Mongolia (northwest), in China (northwest). It grows in wormwood-turf-grass steppes, on solonetzic sands, dry stony and gravelly slopes. It is included in the regional Red Books of the Omsk region as a species that apparently disappeared, and the Altai Territory as a rare one. None of the reserves or reserves of the federal and republican status is protected.
The species is not well understood outside the growing area. It was introduced several times in Barnaul, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg (wintering without shelter), Ufa (transfer of sods, rhizomes, seeds), but was difficult to cultivate. In the conditions of culture, he often vomits, suffers from overmoistening of the soil. Recommended cultivation in dry elevated areas.
The species is very valuable in a decorative sense due to the polychrome nature of the species and the beautiful shape of the sickle-curved leaves. It can be used as an early spring perennial for rocky slides. In the selection did not participate.
Iris pale - Iris pallida
Grows wildly in the south of Western Europe (Alps).
The leaves are xiphoid, bluish due to a wax coating, up to 60 cm long. Peduncle up to 80 cm tall, branching at the top. The flowers are large, almost sessile, fragrant, pale blue. Leaflets wrappers filmy. It blooms in June. Fruits in August.
Afraid of waterlogging. Its dried rhizomes are called the violet root. In the middle lane winters without shelter. The fruit is an oblong, triangular capsule with numerous oblate seeds. In culture since 1827.
Cultivated forms have recently been successfully superseded by industrial plantations in Italy and. Florentine, as they give a greater yield of "violet root". He was repeatedly introduced from Italy and France to the essential oil farms of the Crimea and Moldova. It is one of the main ancestors of cultural irises of the tall bearded group.
Persistently conveys during hybridization signs: the structure of the wrapper, a pleasant aroma of flowers, a high unbranched peduncle. In the northern and northwestern regions of the European part of Russia, culture easily falls out, as it is afraid of excessively moist acidic soils, and needs shelters for the winter.
Dwarf Iris - Iris pumila
Dry turf-grass and feather grass-wormwood steppes, rocky, often calcareous slopes, sands and solonetzes (var. Aequiloba Ledeb.) Of temperate and northern subtropical zones from Central Europe to the southern spurs of the Ural Range (in the east of the range to the Tobol River) . Mostly a steppe geophyte, a component of the fescue-feather grass steppes, however, many populations often go to saline depressions - “pods”, where they become components of semi-desert vegetation.
It is included in the Red Books of the Russian Federation and the Rostov region as a vulnerable, endangered species. Four populations are located on the territory of nature reserves (Astrakhan, Galichya Gora, Zhigulevsky, Khopersky).
Leather Iris - Iris scariosa
Endemic European-Caucasian (Caspian) species. The main part of the range is located in the northwestern and western parts of the Caspian lowland (Astrakhan region, Kalmykia) and in the Eastern Ciscaucasia. The northern border reaches about. Elton, to the east descends to the lower river. Volga and p. Kuma; the southern one runs along the Nogai steppe; western - along the eastern spurs of Ergeni and the Pre-Kalaussky heights. It grows on solonetzic soils along slopes, on dry plateaus, among desert-steppe forbs, sometimes comes to sands.
It is included in the Red Books of the Russian Federation, the Stavropol Territory and the Rostov Region as a vulnerable, endangered species. One of the populations is protected by the Astrakhan reserve.
Iris variegated - Iris variegata
On dry rocky slopes, among shrubs, in woodlands, on forest glades, along the edges of oak forests in the south of the temperate zone of Central Europe, the Balkans, southern and southwestern Moldova (not listed in the flora of Moldova) and in the Izmail region of Odessa region.
The leaves are broadly or linearly xiphoid, 25-40 cm long., 15-20 mm wide., Straight or slightly sickle-curved, with a noticeable longitudinal ribbing in the middle part of the plate, equal to or lower than the peduncle. Peduncle 45-50 (60) cm long., In the upper part short-branched.
The flowers are large, 3-5 cm in diameter, without aroma, mostly bicoloured: the outer perianth lobes with a network of reddish-brownish veins, merging at the end of the plate into one common maroon spot; internal lobes are bright or pale golden yellow. The box is oblong. Seeds are light or dark brown, finely wrinkled. It blooms in late May - early June. Fruits in August.
Iris Florentine - Iris florentina
A bearded species of hybrid origin. The peduncle is branched, up to 70 cm tall, carries 5-7 white with a bluish tint of fragrant flowers. The leaves are gray, large xiphoid. It blooms in late May. It does not give seeds, it only propagates vegetatively. Not hardy enough. In the culture of the XV century.
Features of growing irises
Location: illuminated, windproof areas. You can plant plants in semi-shady places, but varietal irises are photophilous.
The soil: light or medium in mechanical composition, quite fertile, cultivated to a depth of at least 20 cm and well-drained, pH 6.5-7.5. On soils rich in organic matter, plants develop a powerful vegetative mass to the detriment of flowering. In addition, they do not have time to finish the growth in the fall and suffer from fungal diseases. When preparing sandy loam and loamy soils per 1 m², it is recommended to add 8-10 kg of humus, 10 g of nitrogen and 15-20 g of phosphate and potassium fertilizers.
Care: in early spring, the soil is loosened to a depth of 5-8 cm and liquid phosphorus-potassium top dressing is applied (10-12 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium sulfate per 1 m²). Since the rhizomes are located close to the soil surface, dry top dressing is best not to apply. The first nitrogen top dressing (10 g / m²) is carried out after the beginning of intensive growth of leaves, the second (10 g / m²) with the addition of 10-15 g of phosphorus and 20 g of potassium fertilizers per 1 m² after 10-12 days. During flowering and immediately after its completion, plants are fed phosphorus (15-20 g / m²) and potash (20-25 g / m²) fertilizers.
On infertile soils, during the second wave of root system growth (second decade of August), along with phosphorus per 1 m² (25-30 g of superphosphate) and potash (15-18 g of potassium sulfate), nitrogen fertilizers (8-10 g of ammonium nitrate) are introduced. The last top dressing with phosphoric (15-20 g) and potash (10-15 g) fertilizers is carried out in late September - early October. This top dressing contributes to a better formation and differentiation of generative buds, as well as a deeper winter dormancy, which makes plants better tolerate adverse wintering conditions and less suffer from fungal and bacterial diseases.
After flowering, flowering shoots are removed. Throughout the growing season, weeding and loosening of the soil is carried out. In autumn, the leaves are pruned at a height of up to 10 cm. New varieties, especially of American selection, are mulched for the winter with peat, humus, covered with leaves and fir spruce branches. In one place can grow up to 5 years.
Diseases and pests of irises
Irises can be affected by rust, heterosporiosis, gray rot, bulbous iris fusarium, wet rot, line mosaic virus, aphids, gladiolus thrips, slugs, onion beetle, root onion mite, strawberry, stem and gall nematodes.