25 Feb 2014

Iris foetidissima citrina

 Tuesday 25th February 2014

This morning we have been digging up Iris foetidissima citrina also know as the roast beef plant, adders meat

and stinking gladwyn. Apart from the yellow flag Iris pseudacorus, it is our only native iris and it has a Royal

Horticultural Society(RHS) Award of Garden Merit.(GM)It has the constitution of an ox so will grow in almost any

situation, wet/dry conditions open/shaded site and it will tolerate neutral and alkaline soils but flourishes in an

organically rich,loamy soil that retains its moisture.
Our Iris has become huge in its space and the rhizomes are covered in moss,so we are digging up the whole

plant which you can do now ( Spring) Autumn or Winter, scrapeing off the moss , keeping the strongest rhizomes

with a healthy fan of leaves and replanting back in its spot with plenty of well rotted manure or leaf mould

(haven't decided which one yet) so it will continue to flourish here in the border in the Walled Garden at

Abbotsford.Long after its flowering, in the Autumn and through Winter it produces spectacular huge pods that

are full of orange/red seeds, which burst open and cling to the seed heads till spring which the birds completely

ignore.This plant was highly valued as a medicinal herb especially for making poultices for drawing out splinters

and the odd arrow head and it smells nothing like roast beef !

....To Be Continued.....