Cho­sen by plant hunter

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GARDENING -

Mem­bers of an im­pres­sively large genus of more than 300 species, this trio of Iris en­sata va­ri­eties of­fer some­thing dis­tinc­tive.

Com­monly known as Ja­panese wa­ter iris, Iris en­sata are freeflow­er­ing, colour­ful plants that thrive where other peren­ni­als fail. They love clay soils and work well in wa­ter­logged ar­eas. These non-in­va­sive, rhi­zoma­tous peren­ni­als with showy, un­usual blos­soms, also make lovely cut flow­ers.

Plant in small groups of three for a splash of un­usual mid­sum­mer colour. Deer and pest re­sis­tant.

The rarely of­fered ‘An­gel Moun­tain’ is revered for its large, ruf­fled blos­soms and com­plex com­bi­na­tions of vi­o­let blue, bril­liant white and punchy yel­low. Each petal fea­tures in­tri­cate blush­ing and the oc­ca­sional inky-blue vein. Height 2ft 7in (80cm).

The dra­mat­i­cally coloured, AGM-win­ning ‘Crys­tal Halo’ is the per­fect an­ti­dote to a soggy sum­mer bor­der. Each stem holds three large, splayed flow­ers, giv­ing an ex­cel­lent view of the petals’ pati­na­tion. Navy and fringed with white, this va­ri­ety has a strong habit and flow­ers re­li­ably. Height 2ft 11in (90cm).

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