Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Iris ‘Lent Williamson’ flower (27/04/2011, London)

Iris ‘Lent Williamson’ flower (27/04/2011, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Eventual Height: 120cm

Eventual Spread: indefinite

Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a-9a

Family: Iridaceae

Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ is a herbacious perennial with a creeping habit that spreads by rhizomes. It has lance shaped leaves and its tall flowers are violet and purple with a yellow beard.

Introduced in 1918, Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ was created by Mr. E. B. Williamson, a banker of Bluffton, Indiana, who having discovered a particularly nice bloom in among the Iris plants, decided to cross it nearly every other variety there. He created nearly 500 different crosses until he finally produced what we now know as Lent A. Williamson when one chance cross finally produced a seed pod.

The etymological root of the binomial name Iris is from the Greek meaning ‘rainbow’, probably in reference to the many colours of their flowers. ‘Lent A. Williamson’ was in honour of E. B. Williamsons father.

Iris ‘Lent Williamson’ (27/04/2011, London)

Iris ‘Lent Williamson’ (27/04/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ is useful as an effective groundcover that requires very little moisture.

Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ will tolerate acid, neutral or alkaline pH levels.

Ecologically, Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ will attract pollinating insects such as bees that will feed on its nectar.

Iris ‘Lent A. Williamson’ requires little to no care. Large clumps may be divided every three to four years.

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