February 4, 2023
Iris milesii

Iris milesii

Iris milesii is also known as the Red Flower Iris, Waterbird Iris in Australia, 红花鸢尾 Hong Hua yuan Wei in China. Milesii is named after Frank Miles (1852-1891). He was a British artist and plantsman. He originally introduced Iris milesii into cultivation from seeds collected by his cousin.

However, Iris milesii was published by Michael Foster (1836-1907). He was an English psychologist. He was a binomial of various iris species. Iris milesii is part of the Iridaceae family of plants. It is native to the Himalayas, spanning from India to China. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant.

Iris milesii
Iris milesii

Iris milesii has a greenish short rhizome that goes dormant during winter. The rhizome gets scars from the shoots of the leaves of the current year where new shoots grow the next season. It shoots basal leaves. The leaves are yellowish-green. They are sword-shaped. Iris milesii leaves can grow to 60cm or 2ft. Iris milesii produces long 90cm or 3ft stems. Each stem usually has 3 or 4 flowers.

Iris milesii
Iris milesii

The flowers are short-lived but because of the quantity, it creates a display of color for an extended period. It usually flowers between April and July depending on the climate. It is a crested iris. It has a yellow or orange crest. The flowers come in pinkish-violet or lavender color. The flowers have two pairs of petals and 3 outer sepals. After flowering, it produces ovoid-globose seeds.

Plant it in humus-rich soil. Grow it in the sun or partial shade. Shelter from very hot and dry locations.

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