Iridodictium flowers are miniature irises. Retaining all the features of ordinary irises, iridodictiums are dwarfed, and therefore ideal for creating designer floral arrangements that are placed in small flowerpots . Also, these mini-cultures can be planted on the front in rockeries and mixborders so that they are not blocked by larger neighbors.
Description of flowers iridodictium
Iridodictium belongs to the iris family. They are dwarf bulbous irises. The small genus includes 10 species. The name of the genus consists of two Greek words – “rainbow” and “reticule”. In nature, iridodictiums grow in Central Asia, Transcaucasia, Turkey, Iran.
According to the description, dwarf irises are a cross between ordinary irises and crocuses . Plants are miniature, graceful, no more than 10-15 cm high, with bright, rather large flowers (up to 7 cm in diameter).
As you can see in the photo, in iridodictium, the perianth consists of six leaflets (lobes) – three outer and three inner:
The outer lobes up to 9 mm wide are located horizontally, in the middle there is a yellow or orange stripe, turning into a white spot. The inner lobes are narrow, slightly corrugated, divided into two tongues in the upper part and usually have a more delicate color.
The flowers emit a delicate, refined fragrance. Iridodictiums bloom in early spring on thawed patches along with other primroses – galantus, scylla, chionodox . Each peduncle bears one flower.
Look at the photo – dwarf irises planted by a group resemble a flock of multi-colored butterflies that have flocked to a clearing:
The leaves are three- or four-sided, ending in a white tip. By the time the buds open, they have a length of no more than 10 cm, with time they are strongly drawn out (up to 40 cm). In some species, narrow, stiff leaves develop after flowering. In July, the leaves turn yellow and fall down, which is a sign of the ripening of the bulbs.
The bulbs are small (up to 2 cm in diameter), spherical or ovoid in shape. The outer scales are dark, reticulate. The bulb is renewed annually, in addition, 2-4 babies are formed during the season, which bloom the next spring.
Planting, care and wintering of iridodictiums (with photo)
When planting and caring for dwarf iris, the soil should not be too fertile; ordinary garden soil with the addition of coarse sand is quite suitable. The landing site is chosen open, sunny, on high beds or an alpine hill . Bulbs are planted at a distance of 5-7 cm from each other. Planting depth for large bulbs 8-10 cm, small – 4-5 cm. Good drainage is required, as these plants cannot stand stagnant water. In summer they are not watered, there is enough precipitation. The bulbs are transplanted to a new place after 4-5 years.
Some experts argue that in central Russia, long-term cultivation of iridodictiums without summer digging is too risky. So that the bulbs do not suffer from dampness, they are dug up annually, without waiting for full ripening.
For wintering, the bulbs of iridodictiums are placed in boxes in one layer and stored until autumn in a dark room at a temperature of 18-20 ° C. Usually, by mid-September, roots begin to form in the bulbs, which serves as a signal for planting. Thus, all care is actually reduced to annual digging and planting.
Iridodictiums reproduce not only by daughter bulbs, but also by seeds. Seeds immediately after harvest are sown on ridges to a depth of 4-5 cm. Young plants bloom in the third year. Propagation by seeds is used mainly for breeding purposes.
Here you can see a photo of planting and caring for iridodictiums on a personal plot:
To achieve a greater decorative effect, iridodictiums are planted in groups, but even single specimens of these dwarfs are good on rocky hills. In rockeries, it is advisable to place them in the foreground. These plants are great for winter forcing in pots.
Types of iridodictiums (dwarf irises)
Of the wild species of iridodictiums, dwarf irises reticulated and Danford are more common than others.
Iridodictium Danford . This wild species is found in Asia Minor. Flower up to 5 cm in diameter, fragrant. The outer lobes are yellow with a greenish tint, the inner lobes have a double bright green stripe. The flowers appear before the leaves grow. Bulb per season forms up to 7 small children. For larger bulbs, this species requires a deeper planting than other iridodictiums.
Iridodictium reticulata has fragrant purple or purple flowers 5-8 cm in diameter. There are bright yellow spots on the limb of the outer petals. Occurs in the meadows of Southern and Eastern Transcaucasia, Turkey. In culture, numerous varieties of this species are common.
Iridodictium Joyce . The flower is monophonic, pure blue, up to 7 cm in diameter. A bright orange stripe passes in the middle of the outer lobes. Very decorative in rockeries.
Iridodictium Wentworth . The flower is blue with a purple tint up to 7 cm in diameter. The lobes are satin, shiny, on the outside there is a yellow spot. The aroma is delicate.
Iridodictium Cantab . The flower is sky blue with an intense yellow spot on the outer lobes up to 7 cm in diameter.
Iridodictium Catherine Hodgkin is one of the most beautiful and rare varieties. The flower is very large, up to 9 cm in diameter. The outer lobes are white-blue with blue strokes forming a grid; a yellow stripe dotted with dots runs in the middle. The inner lobes are smoky blue, moire. Has a delicate aroma. Bulbs are large, do not tolerate summer drought. After digging, it is recommended to immediately plant in a new place.