August 17, 2017

Beardless Beauty

Iris sibirica - Siberian iris

Janine Pineo Photo | Iris sibirica – Siberian iris

Iris sibirica is one of the easiest flowers to grow, especially in Maine. Siberian iris are mostly carefree, with their swordlike foliage topped by elegant flowers in late spring and early summer. Pictured is a white version, variety unknown, passed down through the family over a number of decades. Heights can vary, but this particular variety tops off at about 2 feet. Siberian iris, which are native to Europe and northern Asia, are often hardy to Zone 3 and can tolerate full to sun to partial shade and still thrive. Give them well-drained but moist soil and the plants will spread fairly quickly over time. A huge number of cultivars exist, with a good many coming from Maine and the hands of Dr. Currier McEwen of Harpswell, who was renowned in his later years for the Siberians he cultivated. A good source for McEwen iris is Fieldstone Gardens in Vassalboro. Trust us when we say one can easily get caught up in iris fever when looking at the rich range of Siberian iris. We can think of worse things to obsess over.