But who is it that we love? The iris of course! There it is, leaning on its falls, standing straight, thinly or sturdily, discretely or luminously, dressed in white, yellow, blue, mandarin, bronze, copper or red tones, this beard which the bumblebees have made into their runway.. and also catches our gaze.
Made-up of single-celled hairs, it is what defines ‘Pogonirises’, the group to which our irises belong. This feature is used to define its classification into different species of iris.
For a long time now, the madmen that are hybridizers have put all their creative efforts into changing the colour of the beard onto different coloured backgrounds: in this way you may have a white iris featuring a red beard (like “Neige de Mai”) which ensures a particularly striking visual effect.
A few years ago, the beards did not stop at merely swapping colours! They began changing shapes: you will sometimes see they are prolonged with spurs, or spoons, or even flounces. These new varieties have been given the original title of Space-Age (example: our 2014 creation: “Aile Volante”)
But unbearded irises have nothing to be ashamed of, though, as their hairless falls are just as attractive, as one can see with the Iris Sibirica, Japanese iris or Louisiana iris and again with the Spuria and water iris (pseudacorus and versicolor). These irises known as “Apogon” can grow in many different areas of your garden. For example, new hybrid water-irises such as “Roy’s Lines” are particularly beautiful and, what’s more, extremely easy to grow.
So bearded or unbearded? It’s up to you!