Daily Flower Candy: Iris foetidissima var. citrina

Iris foetidissima is one of only two irises which are native to the UK.   A hardy perennial, it’s better known by a variety of common names based on the unpleasant smell of the bruised leaves – ‘Stinking Gladwyn’ is one of my favourites.  But fear not, there are no nasty niffs under normal circumstances.  Until the weekend I was only familiar with the wild form, which has rather inconspicuous purple-grey flowers.  Iris foetidissima var. citrina is a garden form with distinctive antique-yellow flowers held above sword-like leaves.  Both forms are incredibly tolerant of dry, heavy shade, bearing bright orange berries in autumn and winter.  Pictured here at Whitstable Castle, Kent.

Iris foetidissima citrina at Whitstable Castle, Kent, June 2013