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Hardy perennials - Flower either in spring, April to May or summer, May to July
Grows from rhizomes, plant horizontally just exposed at the soil surface
Irises are a vast and varied group remarkable for the exotic extravagance of their flowers and also the range of conditions in which various members of the group will grow. There are irises that will grow in standing water and others that will thrive in dry shade. There are irises of every available color and many bi, tri and multi-colors that fade from one shade to another.
They grow from an underground storage organ, sometimes a bulb, but more often a rhizome - a swollen stem that grows at ground level half in and half out of the soil. An iris will usually flower in spring or summer while some of the bearded forms will flower again the same year if conditions are right for them.
Irises may be propagated by seed or by lifting and splitting rhizomes where they most readily separate. There are often found small offsets that can also be removed and grown on, initially in a plant pot and compost before being planted out in the garden. Irises are clump forming, on average 18-24 inches in height and spread, but can be considerably more in the case of beardless varieties or only 4-6 inches tall for some of the early spring flowering bulbs.