The winter flowering Iris unguicularis provides welcome herbaceous interest beside the back path in the Winter Garden.
Favouring a sunny, well-drained position, Iris unguicularis is a vigorous beardless iris from the Mediterranean, though it is prolific in Algeria, hence the common name Algerian iris. It produces a dense mat of rhizomes on the soil surface, from which emerge narrow, grass-like leaves to 60cm in length. The large flowers are either stemless, or are held on short stems, and nestle amidst the foliage, and provide colour through the winter months. They are variable in colour from pale lavender to deep blue, with a central band of yellow markings on the falls.