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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Iris foetidissima 'Variegata', Foliage plants

I would like to use Iris foetidissima 'Variegata' in large numbers in my landscape.I have heard that this plant is evergreen in our Pacific Northwest winters. As I have never grown this iris, I would love to hear what you have to say. Is it really evergreen? I live in Portland, Oregon. Some people I asked say otherwise.


In my experience, this Iris is evergreen in the Seattle area. Its leaves remain over the winter. The following information confirms this.
From Paghat's Garden, written by a Seattle gardener:
"This thoroughly evergreen iris loves moderate shade but also does well in considerable sunlight. It grows to three feet tall or so, with large evergreen sabres of leaves that simply never fade away in the manner of the vast majority of irises. There is no better iris for a 'permanent' feature of sword leaves, though where winters fall into the teens Fahrenheit, the leaves may be damaged and need to be thinned late in winter to remove injured leaves, being quick to recover in spring. In our moderate winters, Iris foetidissima has no leaf damage in the least."

Portland gardener Ketzel Levine has this to say:
"Like most variegated plants, the striped iris are grown for their foliage rather than for their flowers--which is a good thing in the case of the exquisite though unreasonably rare Iris foetidissima 'Variegata', since its pale mauve flowers are unlikely to attract attention. All the better, though, to enjoy its dramatic eighteen-inch evergreen leaves, brilliant fans of white-streaked foliage that blend with anything in summer, bring drama to winter, and thrive in shade."

Date 2017-05-10
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May 31 2018 13:14:08