Heritage Irises

Bearded, beautiful, and full of grace and style.

By Beth Botts

Photography by Rob Cardillo


Heritage Iris—Dog Rose.But not all gardeners share the taste for elaboration. They feel that the allure of the new has led to too many overwrought irises, often at the expense of fragrance and vigor. They are fascinated by older varieties—with simpler, cleaner lines and fewer frills, but usually more toughness and fragrance—that have fallen out of catalogs, surviving only in old gardens, cemeteries, and other out-of-the-way places.