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Iris giganticaerulea
Iris giganticaerulea
Iris giganticaerulea
Iris giganticaerulea
Iris giganticaerulea

Iris giganticaerulea

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Giant Blue Iris. This is an incredible native Iris whose habitat is the northern Gulf Coast. I was first introduced to this species when I saw it in the garden of Bobby Greene of Green's Nursery which is located on the eastern side of Mobile Bay. I saw it in mid March and it had evergreen leaves which were 3-4' tall resembling a Phormium. He could see that I was salivating for a start of this plant so he dug me part of the clump. This species is one of the 5 or so species which are parents of our present day Louisiana Iris. It flowers on 5' scapes with electric blue flowers. The species name translates into "giant blue." Unfortunately, it is not the most cold hardy of species and will probably not grow in the landscape much above zone 8. The foliage stays evergreen to about 20°F. It very much resembles Iris virginiana, but its flowers are a much darker blue. It will tolerate wet feet. It has an unusual characteristic in that it will form small proliferations on its scape where flowers have faded. These are plantlets that can be removed from the stems and rooted to start new plants, and these will be identical to their parents, unlike seedlings which are not. To give you an idea of its height, my nephew Nathanael is a little over 6 feet tall.

Zones 8-10