Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies)

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Robert Pavlis

Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies)

Iris x norrisii is a very interesting plant that flowers in the heat of summer when flowering can be a bit slow in the garden. It also has some very interesting seed heads for late fall.

This poor primary hybrid and its parents have gone through a number of name changes. One parent, Iris domestica (formerly Belamcanda chinensis, aka Iris chinensis) is from tropical SE Asia and the Philippines while the other, Iris dichotoma (formerly Pardanthopsis dichotoma) is from farther north (Mongolia and Russia). Iris x norrisii looks more like I. domestica but due to its parents, it grows in a very wide range of conditions and produces many different color forms.

Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis
Iris dichotoma (formerly Pardanthopsis dichotoma)
Iris dichotoma (formerly Pardanthopsis dichotoma), photo by Robert Pavlis

The wide range of flower color, with and without speckles, is one reason it is becoming more popular in gardens. I especially like growing them from seed since you never know what you will end up with.

They are commonly known as the candy lily, painted lily and orchid lily, although they are not lilies at all. The leaves are distinctly iris-like, forming a definite fan shape. They are short lived, lasting 3-4 years, but they do self sow and can be easily propagated by seeds or cuttings. They can flower the first year from seed.

Microbe Science for Gardeners Book, by Robert Pavlis
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis

Individual flowers last only a day, but flowering stems can have hundreds of buds providing a long display of color. Idomestica opens its flowers in the morning and Idichotoma in the late afternoon. The Candy lily opens its flower at various times of the day depending on the cultivar.

Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis

Some named cultivars are available. ‘Dazzler’ is a dwarf strain growing 16″ (40 cm) tall. ‘Vanilla Frost’, a Darrell Probst introduction, is a rare selection that is white with a yellow eye. It is slow to form offsets and does not set seed, so it may be difficult to locate, but worth the search. ‘Sangria’ is a nice purple with golden yellow patterned petals.

Iris x norrisii 'Vanilla Frost', photo by Plant Delights
Iris x norrisii ‘Vanilla Frost’, photo source Plant Delights
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis
Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies) photo by Robert Pavlis

Iris x norrisii

(EYE-ris  x no-RIS-ee-eye)

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 90 cm (3 ft)

Bloom Time: late summer

Natural Range: N/A

Habitat: N/A

Synonyms: n/a

Cultivation of Iris x norrisii:

Light: sun

Soil: variable, prefers sandy well drained

Water: average to dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: – 10

Propagation: seed, division

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

4 thoughts on “Iris x norrisii ( x Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lilies)”

  1. Hi Robert, I am a fellow MG ewith the Brantford group. I’ve heard you speak afew times and visited your beautiful garden last fall. About 18 years ago my husband and I built a pond approximately 16’x12′ with a small filter pond above it. It has served us well and I thought it would continue forever. Apparently not. It seems to have developed a leak. Neither of us, almost 20 years older, is able physically to deal with this and need to hire a professional. I wondered if you possibly have a contact you would recommend. I know you have a book about ponds, didn’t know about it at the time, or maybe you hadn’t even written it yet. At any rate, I thought it was worth asking for your advice. I know this probably not the best place to approach you with this request, but I didn’t know how else to contact you. Thanks for any help you can give.
    Anne Saunders anne.saunders1545@gmail.com
    519 442 3458

    Reply
  2. Just finished your latest book. Great job of explaining what goes on in the soil. I highly recommend this to anyone who gardens. It will be a part of my gardening book trove from now on.

    Reply
  3. Great job you did a good job explaining for all to understand. I am very proud of you. Sincerely. Dr Douglas Crater, retired

    Reply

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