VARIEGATED IRIS Pseudacorus variegata
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag, yellow iris, water flag) is native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa.
It is an herbaceous flowering perennial plant, growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) (or a rare 2 metres (6 ft 7 in)) tall, with erect leaves up to 90 centimetres (35 in) long and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) broad. The flowers are bright yellow, 7–10 centimetres (2.8–3.9 in) across, with the typical iris form. Iris pseudacorus grows best in very wet conditions, and is often common in wetlands, where it tolerates submersion, low pH, and anoxic soils. While it is primarily an aquatic plant, the rhizomes can survive prolonged dry conditions.
The plant was rated in second place for per day nectar production per flower in a UK plants survey conducted by the AgriLand project which is supported by the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. Large I. pseudacorus stands in western Scotland form a very important feeding and breeding habitat for the endangered corn crake.
This variegated cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Seeds are rare and very limited supply.
Hardiness zones: 4-9
Seeds per pack: 3
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them. This method is only advisable if you are able to ensure that the soil is consistently moist during the entire germination period.