This species is native to Italy and, as a parent of the Tall Bearded Iris, is the source of the sweet fragrance found in many of today's hybrids. It's a mistake, however, to ignore the virtues of this plant on its own, especially a selected form known as I. pallida 'Variegata.' As the name suggests, this is a richly decorative plant whose leaves are elegantly striped in a pattern that begins nearly lemon yellow and fades to creamy white. This process continues through the summer, producing a blend of subtle foliage hues, all of which complement the grape scented June flowers of rich violet-blue. At 3′, this is a plant that can carry its own weight in a garden. In well-drained soil and at least a half day's sun, it is sure to please for many years. More rugged than it looks, too.
Sun Exposure: full sun
Soil type: sandy or normal
Soil PH: all
Soil Moisture: dry, average to moist does not tolerate wet sites
Care level: medium (clean up dead and damaged foliage in fall) (fertilize regularly)(see planting instructions above)
Flower color: violet blue
Bloom time: late spring early summer
Foliage Color: variegated green lemon to white stripes
Uses and Characteristics: accent: good texture and form, Gorgeous foliage, specimen, massed, fragrant, reblooming, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, deer and resistant, cut flower, poisonous toxic
Flower head size: medium
Height: 36 inches Width: 12 to 24 inches
Growth Rate: medium
Propagation: Divide every 3 or 4 years in spring, midsummer or early fall. To divide, dig up the rhizomes, break them apart and plant the parts that have a fan of leaves, discard the rest.
Iris Pallida ‘Variegata Alba’, Sweet Iris, zones 4-8
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