Iris bulleyana

Iris bulleyana is part of the Iridaceae family of plants. It is called 西南鸢尾, meaning Southwest Iris, in Chinese. It is native to South China, Myanmar, and Tibet. Iris bulleyana is a rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial. In Sweden, they call it the Kinesisk Iris or Bulley’s Iris.

Bulleyana is named after Arthur Kilpin Bulley (1861-1942) who was the creator of the Ness Botanic Gardens. Primula bulleyana and an orchid genus were named after him. Iris bulleyana was published in The Gardener’s Chronicle by William Rickatson Dykes (1877-1925), an English botanist. Originally they thought to this species to be a hybrid. However, it was not until 1994 that it was observed again in its natural habitat in West Yunnan and therefore concluded that it is not a hybrid.

Iris bulleyana grows in moist hillsides and in meadows and beside rivers and streams. Iris bulleyana has narrow, linear leaves slightly different in color on each side. One side is glossy green and the other is more grayish-green. Iris bulleyana leaves can grow to 45cm or 18in tall.

Early summer and late spring witness Iris bulleyana’s grand entrance. Sturdy stems, standing at around 70cm or 27in, proudly present exquisite blue, violet, or purple flowers. Each stem holds one or two of these captivating blooms, adorned with three drooping falls and a wider blade showcasing a delicate yellow or white stripe veined with violet. Three smaller lanceolate standards and elegant stamens complete the ensemble.

Iris bulleyana flower has 3 drooping falls and a wider blade that has a yellow or white stripe with violet veins. Iris bulleyana also has 3 smaller lanceolate standards. and long stamens and anthers. After the flower Iris bulleyana produces seed capsules, containing flat round brown seeds.

Cultivation of Iris bulleyana:

Sunlight: Provide ample sunlight, with partial shade during intense heat. Aim for at least six hours of sunlight daily.

Soil: Plant in moist, fertile soil enriched with organic matter. Ensure well-draining soil to support healthy roots.

Watering: Maintain balanced moisture. Allow the top soil to dry slightly between waterings during active growth. Adjust watering frequency during dormancy.

Pest and Disease Resilience: Regularly check for pests and diseases. Proper spacing helps reduce the risk of disease.

Propagation: Expand through division during dormancy. Replant healthy rhizomes with shoots and strong roots.

Cultural Significance and Beyond

Beyond its ornamental allure, Iris bulleyana carries cultural significance and holds potential for medicinal exploration, particularly in the realms of anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.

Embracing the Southwest Legacy

Iris bulleyana, a tribute to the landscapes of South China, Myanmar, and Tibet, graces gardens with its captivating presence. As you cultivate and tend to this botanical treasure, you honor nature’s palette of color, form, and resilience—an enduring legacy that unfolds with every bloom.

Iris bulleyana
Iris bulleyana at Kew Garden, London, UK

Also, read about Iris wilsonii

Iris bulleyana
Blue-violet color of the Iris bulleyana flowers

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