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The term "Japanese iris" encompasses three species of Irises cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan: hanashōbu (Iris ensata), kakitsubata (Iris laevigata) and ayame (Iris sanguinea). Of these three species, I. ensata is the one most commonly referred to as "Japanese iris" outside of Japan.

The bluish purple color of the flowers of the Japanese garden iris is an example of the copigmentation phenomenon.[1]

Hanashōbu at Meigetsu-in
Iris ensata (including Iris kaempferi

Hanashōbu[edit]

The Hanashōbu (ハナショウブ, 花菖蒲?, Iris ensata var. ensata, syn. I. ensata var. hortensis I. kaempferi) grows in the wet land and is the most extensively cultivated variety in Japanese gardens. According to the place where it was cultivated, it is classified into the Edo (Tokyo), Higo (Kumamoto Prefecture), Ise (Mie Prefecture), American (U.S.A.) and other series. It is extensively grown in gardens throughout the temperate zones. Several cultivars have been selected, of which 'Rose Queen'[2] and 'Variegata'[3] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Kakitsubata[edit]

The Kakitsubata (link to article in Japanese) (カキツバタ, 杜若?, Iris laevigata) grows in the semi-wet land and is less popular, but is also cultivated extensively.

It is a prefectural flower of Aichi Prefecture due to the famous tanka poem which is said to have been written in this area during the Heian period, as it appears in The Tales of Ise by Ariwara no Narihira (note that the beginning syllables are "ka-ki-tsu-ha (ba)-ta"):

Original text Pronunciation Meaning

から衣

きつゝなれにし

つましあれば

はるばるきぬる

たびをしぞ思

Karakoromo

Kitsutsu narenishi

Tsuma shi areba,

Harubaru kinuru

Tabi o shizo omou

I have come so far away on this trip this time and think of my wife that I left in Kyoto

Kakitsubata at Ōta Shrine, Kyoto, is a National Natural Treasure. It was already recorded in a tanka by Fujiwara Toshinari also in the Heian period:

Original text Pronunciation Meaning

神山や大田の沢のかきつばた

ふかきたのみは色に見ゆらむ

Kamiyama ya ōta no sawa no kakitsubata

Fukaki tanomi wa iro ni miyu ramu

Like the kakitsubata at Ōta Wetland, a God-sent heaven, my trust in you can be seen in the color of their flowers.

Ayame[edit]

The Ayame (アヤメ, 菖蒲, 文目?, Iris sanguinea) is the iris typically growing wild on the dry land in Japan.

Characteristics[edit]

Classification Color of flower Leaf Feature of flower Location Flowering time
Hanashōbu Red purple, purple, etc. Distinct artery Shows no net Wet land Early June - late June
Kakitsubata Blue, purple, white, etc. Small artery Shows no net In water or wet land mid-May - late May
Ayame Purple, rarely white Main artery not clear Shows net Dry land Early May - Mid-June

Note: Sweet flag, called Shōbu (ショウブ, 菖蒲) in Japanese, is a plant belonging to the family Acoraceae, genus Acorus, known for its fragrant roots, rather than its flowers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anthocyanin-flavone copigmentation in bluish purple flowers of Japanese garden iris (Iris ensata Thunb.) T. Yabuya, M. Nakamura, T. Iwashina, M. Yamaguchi and T. Takehara, EUPHYTICA, Volume 98, Number 3, 163-167, doi:10.1023/A:1003152813333
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Iris ensata 'Rose Queen'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Iris ensata 'Variegata'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_iris — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

93 news items

 
YourGV.com
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:23:20 -0700

The Halifax Farmer's Market will host a celebration on Saturday, Aug. 8, in honor of National Farmers Market Week, which is Aug. 2-8. The Halifax Farmer's Market will have kids' activities, corn hole toss, refreshments, grilling demo, free soy tea ...

YourGV.com

YourGV.com
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:46:25 -0700

Demo planned. Join the Southside Master Gardeners at the Halifax Farmer's Market for a special demo at 9:30 a.m. dividing this beautiful Japanese iris, a great plant for the perennial border. Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 3:30 pm. Perennial dividing ...

Muscatine Journal

Muscatine Journal
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:15:00 -0700

... Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra), rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), Japanese iris (Iris ensata), yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), obedient plant (Physostegia ...

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Bee
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 18:29:16 -0700

His koi pond is ringed with unusual Japanese iris. Satsuki azaleas line the fence along with massive stands of golden and black-stemmed bamboo. Tiger lilies and penstemons brighten his driveway. In the atrium, sago palms and rare cycads vie for space ...
 
Utica Observer Dispatch
Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:00:00 -0700

A wet spot can also be transformed; look at Japanese iris, astilbe, or turtlehead. Plus no sunny spot is complete without the multitude of coneflowers now available in many different colors and bloom styles. Learn more about perennials and how to use ...

jacksonprogress-argus

jacksonprogress-argus
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 18:41:15 -0700

A few possibilities include canna, swamp hibiscus, cardinal flower, jewelweed, turtlehead, joe-pye weed, ostrich fern, royal fern, cinnamon fern, Japanese iris, Louisiana iris, copper iris and swamp milkweed. #Q: Who determines when something is ...
 
The Seattle Times
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:25:02 -0700

Although these gorgeous irises are hardy to minus 30 degrees, they also are demanding to grow and won't perform well unless you provide the perfect conditions. The No. 1 requirement is moist soil and a sunny location. Japanese iris does best planted ...

KeepMEcurrent.com

KeepMEcurrent.com
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 06:58:44 -0700

Five busloads of the American Society for Japanese Iris were in Gorham, made up of iris lovers from England, Japan, Canada and the United States, here to see some of the loveliest gardens in the state. All three of the Gorham gardens were at their peak ...
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