Iris cristata, Dwarf Crested Iris. This is one of the most charming native wildflowers. Clear blue or white two-inch blooms hover over four to six inch leaves. Flowers appear in early spring. The small tubers should not be buried completely, but need to be planted so the top 1/2 of the rhizome is visible. Good drainage is needed. Sandy or rocky soil is good. This plant forms a slowly-spreading mat, which becomes more lovely with age. Like most wild flowers, its leaves vanish for the winter. Dwarf Crested Iris prefers dappled or part sun. Most fertilizers work well at 2/3 strength; we use Miracid in the spring and once again in late summer. Often, fertilizer is not needed. The plants may wilt a little after transplanting, which is normal. Water well after transplanting and allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. Once established, this species is fairly drought-tolerant.
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