Iris foetidissima

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Commonly known as the stinking iris, Iris foetidissima features robust, sword-shaped leaves that are dark green and glossy. The plant produces pale lavender to yellowish flowers with veined petals in early summer. Its most distinctive feature is the bright orange-red seeds that appear in autumn when the seed pods split open, adding a striking splash of color to the garden.


Plant in moist but well drained soil in partshade to full sun. It can grow well in sandy or loamy soil that is slightly acidic or neutral, rich in organic matter. Once established can tolerate dry conditions and robust enough to plant is coastal conditions. Divide in spring or autumn as required. Relatively pest and disease resistant but watch for snails and slugs and is toxic to pets.

Landscape Uses

Ideal for mass planting and evergreen flowering borders. Flowers can be cut for arrangements. Its relatively compact nature is suited to narrow spaces and courtyard gardens.


Height to 60cm
Width to 40cm