Planted in groups through the garden and a common sight in less well drained locations around the country is one of our native Iris, Iris pseudacorus. Collections have been made from populations near Arisaig on the west coast of Scotland and on the edge of Loch Lubnaig in the Trossachs. Also found through Europe, North Africa and S.W.Asia this is a vigorous rhizomatous spreading monocot, loving moisture retentive soil in full sun.
The sword shaped foliage has a beautiful sheen that holds rain water droplets even on those leaves curling to a 60 degree slope from which rain would normally shed. A pronounced mid rib runs the length of the leaf, distinctly felt when running the leaf between finger and thumb.
Leaf growth rises to two metres sitting proud of the flower spikes. These spikes produce five or six blooms with outstanding vivid yellow flowers. The buds unfurl from a perfectly pointed pencil shape into three large yellow petals. The centre of each has a darker yellow blotch radiating from which are vein markings in brown. Loved by bees which delve between the lower petals known as falls and the upper (standard) petals in their hunt for the nectar pools hidden at the base. Often overlooked are the stigma and style, which resemble petals, standing prominent in the centre of the flower. The stamen is tucked beneath the fallen, lower petals.