Theses delightful little plants are about 30cm ( 1foot) high and are native to Algeria, Tunisia, Greece and Turkey, so that gives you an idea about their ideal growing conditions.
Although it loves sunny dry weather it does really well in our colder climate, it’s happiest when neglected so it’s perfect for low-maintenance gardens. Just make sure that it’s planted in dry, poor soil and it will reward you with beautiful flowers through late winter.
What I love about it are the large flowers, when most winter flowers are relatively insignificant … it obviously still thinks it’s in north Africa.
The most popular varieties are:
Iris unguicularis ‘Mary Barnard’ which has deep-purple flowers and Iris unguicularis Walter Butt which has lots of pale lavender flowers.
The photo at the top is one of unknown variety growing in my garden.