Gardening

Iris x germánico 'Florentina' and the Dalmatian iris II. pallida 'Dalmatica') are used for commercial orris production. The early flowering 'Florentina' is a tall bearded iris with white, sweetly scented flowers. The species form of I. x germánico, which has also been used for orris, is known by names such as 'Old Purple Flag,' 'Germanica Ancien' and 'Florentina Blue.' The beautiful ceremonial white-flowered I. x germanica 'Albicans' is still planted on Muslim graves in the eastern Mediterranean. • Varieties Iris pallida has grape-scented flowers, but its variety, 'Dalmatica,' has

Heraldic/ erwbtem/

The yellow flag (/. pseudacorus) is the fleur de lis of heraldry. In the 12th century, the French kings were the first to use an image of the flower on iheir shields and later. English kings used it to emphasize their claims to the French throne. Its resemblance to a spearhead is seen as an appropriate symbol of martial power and strength.

tall-stemmed, pale lilac flowers. The blue flag (/. versicolor) has purple to violet flowers and tall, swordlike deciduous leaves; the plant can cause allergic responses. The yellow flag (/. pseudacorus) has tall, sword-like deciduous foliage and tall, stemmed yellow flowers.

• Position Iris pallida 'Dalmatica' and /. x germanica 'Florentina' are hardy, easily grown plants if provided with a well-drained soil and full sun. Grow both I. versicolor and I. pseudacorus in moist soil.

• Propagation Grow I. pallida 'Dalmatica' and /. x germanica 'Florentina' from divisions of rhizomes that have at least one leaf fan attached. Cut back the fans to about 6 in. (15 cm), and plant the rhizomes horizontally so that only the lower half is buried in the soil.

• Maintenance Control weeds.

• Pests and diseases Rhizome rots occur in poorly drained or shaded plants.

• Harvesting and storing In late summer, dig rhizomes, clean and dry them, and cure for 2 years to intensify the violet fragrance.

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