Can someone tell me which of the old iris are fragrant? My best memory of the iris in my mother's garden was the heavy, wonderful fragrances, and I would like to plant some of those in my Georgia garden. I particularly like blues, lavenders, purples, pinks, and whites. I like solids rather than bicolors. My garden is very, very small, so
I think medium heights would be best for me. However, I would gladly give space to a
very fragrant tall iris!
ya know, I've been reminded recently that there are several irises with strong perfumes that some folks don't much like. It's musky. I asked why folks don't care for it, and was told it smells a bit too much like the cat's box. LOL But they are right - that's a bit like it smells, I'd never thought of it that way and now can't smell it but think they're right.
the dark purples/black purples, a lot of them have that grape koolaid smell. I've seen so many irises lately, I can't think which others have pleasant fragrance!
I think that just about all of the old irises are fragrant. I visited Schreiners the other day where they have a bed dedicated to historic irises. I sniffed every single one of them and they were all fragrant. Purples are always a good bet in my opinion. If you take a stroll through an old neigborhood during bloom season you are bound to see some old irises. The next step is to sniff them and if they pass your criteria the next step is to ingratiate yourself to the homeowners.
I agree with pardalinum's advice. A lot of the older, historic irises are very fragrant and a lot of the time you see them growing in large clumps in people's yards. I just know they probably would not mind sharing with you, if you ask. With the size of some of the clumps I've been seeing blooming this spring in my local travels, they would never miss taking a rhizome or two and giving them to you. This year has been just an outstanding year for spring blooming plants of all kinds in our area. We've been very lucky. Alcazar is a historic, two tone purple that is very fragrant, and I see it growing everywhere.
I have two rebloomers, that you might consider for fragrance - Immortality and Clarence are not only beautiful plants, but they are both extremely fragrant. They are also reliable rebloomers for me in my zone.I wouldn't consider them that expensive either.
Laurie sells a lot of really nice irises. Her site is The Irises At Shadowood. I think her prices are very reasonable and the shipping cost is low as well.