Intermediate Bearded Iris Iris 'Mary Constance' (IB)
Iris 'Mary Constance' features blossoms that are typically known for their exquisite beauty and intricate petal arrangements. The flowers of this iris are characterized by their multi-colored petals which often showcase a harmonious blend of soft pastel hues. The blossoms have a graceful appearance with three upright petals, known as standards, accompanied by three downward-curving segments called falls. The falls may display intricate veining or dappling, enhancing the plants' ornamental quality. The foliage of Iris 'Mary Constance' consists of sword-shaped leaves that are arranged in a fan-like pattern. These leaves are bright to medium green, rising up from the base of the plant, creating an attractive background for the stunning flowers. The contrast between the vivid green leaves and the pastel-colored flowers adds to the overall allure of this iris variety. Moreover, the blossoms often feature a delightful fragrance, which makes them even more appealing in garden settings or as cut flowers. The combination of the Iris 'Mary Constance''s colorful blooms, delicate scents, and elegant foliage makes it a favored choice among gardeners and flower enthusiasts.
About this plant
No common names available.
Iris 'Mary Constance' (IB)
The Intermediate Bearded Iris, commonly known as the Iris 'Mary Constance', is generally considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. However, ingesting parts of this plant, particularly the rhizomes (underground stems), can cause digestive issues such as nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The severity of symptoms can depend on the quantity consumed. It is advisable to avoid eating any parts of the plant.
The Intermediate Bearded Iris, commonly known as the Iris 'Mary Constance', is toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. Ingesting its rhizomes, leaves, or flowers can cause symptoms such as excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and in severe cases, could result in abdominal pain. Pets may also show signs of irritation around the mouth due to the plant's irritating substances. If a pet has consumed parts of an Iris plant, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian promptly.
Color of leaves
2 feet (60 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Iris 'Mary Constance' serves as a nectar source for bees and butterflies, promoting pollination in the garden.
- Aesthetic Appeal: With its vibrant blooms, the plant adds a pop of color and visual interest to garden beds and borders.
- Easy to Grow: This variety of iris is relatively low-maintenance, making it accessible for gardeners of all skill levels.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dryness, which is useful in regions with water restrictions or less frequent rainfall.
- Cold Hardy: It can survive in cooler climates, making it a versatile plant for various garden zones.
- Cut Flowers: The blooms make excellent cut flowers for arrangements, bringing the garden's beauty indoors.
- Seasonal Interest: Its flowering period in late spring to early summer provides seasonal interest and bridges the gap between spring bulbs and summer perennials.
- Multiplication: Iris 'Mary Constance' can be divided to create more plants, allowing gardeners to propagate and expand their garden display.
- Deer Resistant: The plant is not a preferred choice for deer, helping to minimize damage in gardens prone to deer visitation.
- Cultural Significance: Irises have a rich history and symbolic meanings in various cultures, adding a layer of significance when planted in the garden.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- The Iris 'Mary Constance' can be used in artistic photography as a subject to exploit its vibrant color and elegant structure.
- Bearded Iris petals can be pressed and preserved in scrapbooks or used as bookmarks, serving as a delicate and ornamental placeholder.
- The plant's strong, straight stems can be included in structural garden designs, providing vertical interest within mixed borders.
- Dried Iris petals can be used to craft homemade potpourri or sachets that offer a subtle fragrance to drawers and closets.
- The flower's unique shape and color can be used as inspiration for textile designs, including embroidery and fabric prints.
- Educational use in botany and horticulture classes, to teach plant biology, hybridization techniques, and plant care.
- As a natural dye, the petals of the Bearded Iris may be used to color textiles or papers, though the color may not be as vibrant as synthetic dyes.
- The plant can be used as a companion plant to deter deer and rabbits, as its thick, fleshy rhizomes are not favored by these animals.
- With their striking appearance, Bearded Iris flowers can be a muse for poets and writers, often symbolizing eloquence and messages in their works.
- In water-efficient gardens, the Iris 'Mary Constance' can contribute to xeriscaping, requiring less water once established.
- Feng Shui
The iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The iris is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Hope: The Iris often represents hope, a sentiment fitting for its bright and showy display that punctuates the spring garden.
- Wisdom: Historically, the Iris symbolizes wisdom. It was linked to the Greek goddess Iris, who was a messenger of the gods and a symbol of communication and new endeavors.
- Faith: The flower’s three upright petals are said to stand for faith, courage, and wisdom.
- Purity: Just as the Iris 'Mary Constance' exudes a clean and pristine presence, it often denotes purity.
- Royalty: Its regal appearance has earned it a connection to royalty and nobility in various cultures.
Intermediate Bearded Iris, commonly known as 'Mary Constance', requires consistent moisture, especially during the growing season. Water deeply once a week to achieve a total of about one inch of water. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation to apply water directly to the soil, minimizing wet foliage which can lead to disease. During hot, dry spells, increase watering to twice per week, but allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering after blooming, as Iris 'Mary Constance' tolerates dry conditions but requires moisture to form healthy rhizomes for the next season.
For the Intermediate Bearded Iris 'Mary Constance', full sun is the best condition, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Plant it in a spot that receives early morning or late afternoon sun, with some protection from the intense midday heat if possible. This will encourage optimal growth and flowering.
Intermediate Bearded Iris 'Mary Constance' thrives in a wide range of temperatures allowing it to be quite adaptable. It prefers temperatures between 55°F and 75°F for ideal growth. However, it can survive in temperatures as low as 14°F during dormancy and can handle heat up to 90°F, although prolonged temperatures above this range may harm the plant.
Prune the Intermediate Bearded Iris 'Mary Constance' to encourage healthy growth and flowering. Remove any dead or damaged foliage and spent flower stalks. Pruning should be done soon after blooming to tidy up the plant and to prevent seed formation, which diverts energy from rhizome production. In late summer or early fall, cut back foliage to a height of about 4 to 6 inches to prepare for winter.
The intermediate bearded iris 'Mary Constance' thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A good mixture for this iris would be equal parts garden soil, compost, and sharp sand to ensure adequate drainage. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0, to promote optimal growth and flowering.
Intermediate bearded iris 'Mary Constance' typically does not require frequent repotting. These irises should be divided and repotted every 3 to 4 years to prevent overcrowding and to rejuvenate the plants. The best time to repot and divide these irises is shortly after blooming, in late summer.
- Humidity & Misting
Intermediate bearded iris 'Mary Constance' prefers outdoor conditions and does not require high humidity. They are tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels but will perform best when planted in an area with good air circulation to prevent issues such as fungal diseases.
- Suitable locations
Use well-draining soil, bright light, and cool temps.
Plant in full sun, well-draining soil; water sparingly.
- Life cycle
Iris 'Mary Constance' (IB), commonly known as Intermediate Bearded Iris, begins its life as a rhizome, which is planted just below the soil surface. Once established, it sprouts linear, sword-like leaves and begins to develop its robust root system. During the growing season, typically in late spring to early summer, it produces tall stems adorned with flamboyant, colorful flowers that can range from lavender to violet, often attracting pollinators. After blooming, the plant enters a period of vegetative growth, where it builds up energy reserves in the rhizome for the next season. As autumn approaches, the foliage may die back, and the plant enters dormancy during the winter months, conserving energy. In spring, the cycle repeats as new growth emerges once again from the rhizome, leading to another bloom period.
The most popular method for propagating the Iris 'Mary Constance', a type of Bearded Iris, is through division of the rhizomes. This is typically done in late summer after the blooming period, when the plant's growth has slowed down. Gardeners should dig up the entire clump and use a sharp, clean knife to cut the rhizomes into sections, each with at least one fan of leaves and a portion of the roots attached. The leaves should be trimmed to about one-third of their height to reduce water loss. The divisions can then be replanted into well-draining soil, spaced about 12 to 24 inches apart (30 to 60 centimeters), with the rhizome just barely below the surface of the soil. It's crucial to water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots. This method ensures healthy growth since it rejuvenates the plant by reducing overcrowding.