Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Bloom Color: Violet/Lavender White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Midseason (MLa)
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
Much loved plant here - despite my heavy allergies, Florentina does not present itself as an allergen at all - rather it is a cheerful early bloomer that blooms for several weeks. My family loves to cut rhizomes for their own gardens every fall. We are in southern New Hampshire (U.S.), Zone 5.
On Sep 7, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
This plant has a very long association with man. It was first described by Dioscorides, a Greek botanist and physician in the first century A.D. By the Middle Ages literally millions of pounds of the roots of this plant were sold in the large markets of Europe, especially in Paris, for both medicinal and cosmetic use. Presumably it is one of the progenitors of the over 27,000 bearded iris varieties that have been registered by name, probably about half of which are still sold in the nursery trade.
A bearded Iris from the Mediterranean (possibly no one is too sure of the true origins)
Has fans of sword shaped, grey green leaves which can be evergreen. Bears white, heavy scented flowers with a faint bluish tinge and yellow beard.
Likes a well drained, fertile, neutral to slightly acid soil in a sunny position.
THIS IS NOT A PLANT TO USE WITHOUT HERBALISTS ADVICE! It has many side effects even if you just powder your hair with it. Wash any exposed skin after handling the powdered root.
The powdered root is violet scented and is sometimes used as a fixative for pot pourri.
It is a very powerful purgative and is considered far too strong for medicinal use now. However, just out of interest, it was once used to treat coughs, colic, bronchial problems, liver congestion and was chewed to get rid of bad breath.
Other uses were mainly cosmetic, it was used in tooth powders, dry shampoo, face packs and perfumes. It was also used to give a bitter flavour to some alcoholic beverages.
It is a very beautiful Iris and worth having (in my opinion) for the floral display alone.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Chesterfield, Indiana Macy, Indiana Ames, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Iowa Deer River, Minnesota Alton, Missouri Raytown, Missouri Robertsville, Missouri Harlowton, Montana Allentown, New Jersey Averill Park, New York Boone, North Carolina Grove City, Ohio Greeneville, Tennessee Galax, Virginia