Centre de table Lilliputs
These small bearded iris were ‘born’ in the end of the 50’s, almost by chance. They are, in fact, the result of a cross between a Tall Bearded iris and an iris pumila (a dwarf tetraploid variety). The American hybridizer, Cook, created this specimen in the hope of obtaining new Tall Bearded Iris which would bloom early, but what he got instead was a new category measuring between 25 and 40cm which became known as the “Standard Dwarf’, otherwise known as simply the “Dwarf” variety.
Dwarf iris, therefore, make up a very specific group within the bearded iris family and are considered by some authors to be amongst the best perennial plants developed by man during the 20th Century, quite deservedly so:
- They are easy to grow, are extremely prolific and disease-resistant.
- They offer a wide range of colours, as wide as that offered by the Tall Beardeds.
- In the garden, they do well in rockeries, low borders, mixed-borders, and what’s more, one can even easily grow them in large pots and stone-basins.In terms of hybridization, when crossing them with Tall Beardeds, they enable one to enrich the Intermediates range, and when crossed with Miniature Dwarfs, they diversify the miniature dwarf range; crossing them amongst themselves will, of course, give us new dwarf varieties (they can also be crossed with “aril” irises in order to obtain new ‘arilbreds’).
Their very early flowering period is yet another of their qualities: they bloom as early as mid-April in the Centre of France, at a time when colours are scarce in the garden, so their great diversity can satisfy all kinds of garden tastes.