Scented Bearded Irises!
May 24, 2012 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Which purple or purple-ish bearded irises smell good?

I am about to order a handful of bearded irises from a catalog and very few catalogs mention scent unless it's weird (like the grape one).

When I wander around my work neighborhood smelling the irises, I notice that some have a light sweet scent and some seem to have none at all. I would like a little scent to my irises.

I am not interested in tracking down the owners of the irises I've run across, and when I've asked the few who happened to be easily accessible, none of them had any idea which irises they had in their own yards.

Does anyone here have suggestions for me?
posted by small_ruminant to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Might this list of fragrant irises help? Not all of the fragrances are described but several are described as having a "slight sweet fragrance".
posted by trip and a half at 1:08 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes! I'll go through those. Thank you!
posted by small_ruminant at 1:43 PM on May 24, 2012

But any personal experiences are much appreciated, too.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:44 PM on May 24, 2012

If the fragrant irises you see are usually lavender-colored, they're likely Iris pallida, aka dalmatian iris. The blooms are slightly smaller and less ruffly than a lot of the tall beardeds, and they have a lovely light fragrance that smells kind of like grape bubble gum. They're often available in the variegated-leaf variety. They are also my favorite flower of ALL TIME and I admit I have been hoping for an AskMe about bearded irises to show up one day.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:52 PM on May 24, 2012

I have Superstition, which is nicely fragrant; it's mentioned here as having a sweet scent, and it does. I think it smells faintly grape! Hah! No, seriously, but I think it might be because my brain is reading the color and telling me that sweet scent is grape. It's pleasant, though, and that picture does not do the intensely dark flower anything like justice. I also have an iris that was labeled "Bride's Halo," but I am now not sure it is; it doesn't entirely match the pictures online, as it's more pale yellow all over, with just slightly darker yellow edging. It is, however, wonderfully fragrant, moreso than the "Superstition." I would happily give you some of mine, as they're a beautiful flower on a vigorous plant, but it looks like you're far from St. Louis MO.
posted by miss patrish at 1:59 PM on May 24, 2012

Oh, wait; you just wanted purple ones; forget the "Bride's Halo."
posted by miss patrish at 2:02 PM on May 24, 2012

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