Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)

Iris Cristata is a dwarf iris that grows 4-7 inches high and spreads via long, rope-like roots. It spreads quickly and is an excellent groundcover. It is easy to divide and spread around the garden. With a little patience and time, you can cover a lot of area with this magnificent little spreading jewel.

Iris cristata with white blooms used as groundcover in a rock garden

One challenge of working with the Iris Cristata is that it loves to spread, so it does need to be kept in line occasionally. Also, it blooms early and relatively quickly (blooms last about 10 to 14 days) so you may need to think about having some later blooming perennials around to keep your garden interesting.

There are several cultivars, but it typically has either white, blue or purple flowers.

An ideal addition to any rock garden or perennial bed.

Key Details

Plant Type: Perennial
Plant Name: Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
Plant Description: Low spreading groundcover
Height: Up to 7”
Spread: 12-24”
Foliage: Green to light green
Flower: Purple, lavender, blue or white blooms in mid-spring depending on variety

Climate: Zones 3-9
Soil: Loamy soil pH from 5.5 to 6.5
Sun: Part shade to Full sun
Specific Conditions: Deer resistant (as long as deer have other things to eat)

Availability: Widely available at nurseries with a well-stocked perennial section.

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