Garden Design Favourite Plants for Shade – Iris Foetidissima

One of my favourite plants to use in a shady spot in the garden is Iris Foetidissima. Not only does it love shade it provides useful winter interest with it’s bright orange berries.

Iris Foetiidissima BerriesThere aren’t many plants that are happy under the dense foliage of a Viburnum Tinus that grows in my garden. However I planted a clump of Iris Foetidissima a few years ago and now love them! They have strappy evergreen leaves giving good structure to a border and work well with euphorbias and ferns. Many people discount them for their rather drab, innocuous summer flowers, though I’m not sure I’d agree.

Iris Foetidissima flowerIt’s really only in the autumn when this plant shows it’s real value in the garden with it’s spectacular, cylindrical seed pods that appear after the flowers have faded.  The pods swell throughout August before bursting open to reveal magnificent, bright orange-red berries. The berries remain on the plant right through the winter and look fantastic with a covering of frost.

I’ve cut some of my seed heads to put indoors in a vase with some dried allium heads. Not sure how long they will last but they look good on my windowsill right now.

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