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Botanical Name: Iris decora
Synonyms: Evansia nepalensis (Klatt), Iris nepalensis (D.Don), Iris nepalensis var. khasiana (Baker), Iris sulcata (Wall.), Iris yunnanensis (H.Lév.), Junopsis decora (Wall.) Wern.Schulze, Neubeckia decora (Wall.) Klatt and Neubeckia sulcata (Klatt).
Habitat :Iris decora is native to E. Asia – Himalayas – Pakistan to S.W. China. It grows in the drier inner valleys, 1800 – 4000 metres. Grassy hillsides on plateaux, open stony pastures and cliffs at elevations of 2800 – 3100 metres.
Iris decora is a perennial plant. It has a rhizome covered in bristly fibres. It is similar in form to the roots of Hemerocallis. It reaches a height of 10–30 cm tall. It has 3–7 flowers per stem, in the summer, June -July, which are approximately 4–5 cm in diameter. They come in a range of colours between pale bluish lavender and deep reddish purple. The perianth tube measures 3.5–5 cm. The falls are up to 3.5 cm long. The blade has an orange-yellow central ridge that becomes white or purple at the apex. It has a whitish claw with purple veins.
The leaves reach up to 30 cm at flowering time and then grow up to 45–60 cm tall later, growing to longer than the flowering stem. The strongly ribbed leaves can be 2–8 mm wide.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Prefers a well-drained rich soil in a sunny position. Plants are best lifted in October, stores in dry sand in a cool frost-free place over the winter and planted out in March. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. There has been some confusion over the name of this species. Iris decora Wall. should apply to a beardless species with the synonym of Iris nepalensis D.Don., whilst Iris nepalensis Wall. applies to a bearded species with the synonym Iris deflexa Knowle.&Wetc.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It does not require cold stratification. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done after flowering in late summer. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
The root is aperient, deobstruent, diuretic and purgative. It is useful in the treatment of bilious obstructions and is also applied externally to small sores and pimples.
Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.