Iris tuberosa

Iris tuberosa is a striking, elegant, enchanting flower for your garden in late winter and early spring. It has had its name changed a few times but is now classified as Iris tuberosa and more commonly referred to as “widow iris” and “snake’s head iris”. It originates from Southern Europe, being found in Greece, Spain and Turkey. In some mild  parts of the UK the first flower spikes appear with green and black markings which are very rarely seen in nature. It also has a slight fragrance that intensifies in the sun or a warm room, making it a great flower in a vase. Like many native Mediterranean plants, it puts up with pretty poor soil, which makes it ideal on chalk. All it really needs is late winter and spring rain, followed by a thoroughly good baking in summer, when the foliage will die down and disappear.  Try growing it in a sheltered spot which isn’t too shady. Good companions are other early spring flowers such as snowdrops, crocuses and hellebores.


Published by

Kirsty Wilson

Horticulture is my inspiration! I am the Herbaceous Supervisor at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Photographer, Award winning Garden Designer, BBC Beechgrove Garden Television Presenter & BBC Radio 4 GQT Panellist. I want to inspire people to grow plants, connect with nature and have a positive impact on the world.

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