The other irises

purple and yellow iris 1

The owners who landscaped around our yard and around the pond, long before we bought the property, planted yellow flag irises. Sigh. Much of my yard work every summer is a long, futile, and very muddy attempt to fight this invasive species back. (One strategy I’ve seen described: cover the plants with a heavy tarp, weight it down, make sure it extends well beyond the area of the plants; leave the tarp in place for several YEARS and you MIGHT kill them.)

But elsewhere in the yard—in a dry spot—there’s another iris. I don’t know what it is, some sort of purple flag? I don’t think it’s a native variety, but it’s hard to know. Unlike most irises I’ve seen, it’s got very subtle colours—the purple and yellow together almost have a brownish tinge. The flowers are smaller and seem less floppy than many irises. It’s so self-effacing that the flowers always take me by surprise: omg, there are flowers here!

purple and yellow iris 2

It’s not flashy, but it sure is elegant.

purple and yellow iris 3


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