Authors: M. Bieb.
The best known small bulbous iris, its name still used by gardeners to cover all members of the subgenus Hermodactyloides, i.e. the reticulatas. About 10-15cm tall in bloom. Leaves four-angled in cross section, elongating after flowering to 30 or 40cm Flowers fragrant, about 6cm across, from white (var. alba) through shades of lilac and blue to reddish-purple, usually with a yellow crest on the falls, early spring. Russian Armenia, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, from 600-2700m, in cultivated fields, open mountain sides, thin scrub and alpine meadows. 7 .r. 'Cantab' is Cambridge-blue, 'Cyanea' has smallish clear blue flowers, 'J.S. Dijt' and 'Krelagei' are red-purple and 'Natasha' is a pleasing shade of off-white with greenish veined falls. Larger cultivars with such names as 'Harmony', 'Clairette' and 'Pauline' are hybrids with I. histrioides. AW are excellent rock garden plants.
Joint Rock: Joint Rock Awards, Westminster, 17/2/09