Flower garden and landscape

Juno - rare irises for rocky gardens


The Iris family is able to surprise with its diversity. The assortment of “killer whales” is by no means limited to their favorite bearded, Siberian or Japanese irises. Among relatives of incomparable garden stars, sometimes you can find plants unexpected and very original. One of such rare exotics is the beauty of Juno. Moody and specific in agricultural technology, she prefers to settle in rocky gardens. Juno is one of the earliest flowering bulbous irises.

Iris of Bukhara (Iris bucharica) or Juno of Bukhara (Juno bucharica).


Rocky "not so" irises

Juno - one of the most original plants that belong to the Kasatikov family. Their classification is very confused, because individual species constantly "migrate" to the genus Iris and vice versa, which is the cause of considerable confusion. But junoes are not close relatives of the most popular rhizome irises, radically different from them in most characteristics. The plant got its name in honor of the goddess Juno - the patroness of women and the legendary goddess of the moon.

Juno (Juno) - a representative of perennial bulbous, medium-sized, but seeming quite impressive thanks to densely leafy stems, plants. The periods of long summer dormancy and short spring vegetation lasting only 3-4 weeks are pronounced in the development of juno.

Junoes have time to appear in April, to bloom in mid-spring and quickly disappear, without spoiling the flower beds that have just entered into a riot of colors with the sight of their drying leaves.

In fact, this is a unique bulbous period, the decorative period of which is so limited in time that it turns the juno into an exclusive, unprecedented decoration. This plant is planted precisely as an original accent, exotic, which not everyone can admire.

The maximum height of juno is limited to 50 cm, but plants more often 10-30 cm high are found. Bulbs consist of unassembled fleshy scales (from 3 to 5) and dry film scales. The roots are powerful, cord-like, most often thickened, not dying off during the rest period. The leaves of the juno crescent-like unbend, hugging the shoots, arranged alternately and creating a bizarre and massive silhouette. Narrow-grooved or wide-grooved, Juno leaves always show off with a glossy sheen, emphasizing a deep green tone.

The color of the foliage changes from a light bluish-blue hue at the bottom of the shoots to a bright light or medium green top. On the shoots (at the apex and in the axils of the leaves) single flowers bloom. Most often, one plant produces 2-4 flowers, but sometimes up to 7 flowers bloom on the shoots.

Fragrant, with a six-lobed perianth and pronounced tube, the flowers only vaguely resemble irises. The outer perianth lobes are always decorated with a fingernail, which passes into the winged plate, several times more than the inner lobes, which are spread out to the sides or bent down.

The flowering period of Juno always falls in mid-spring. Typically, the plant is “tied” to April, but the growing season of this bulb is directly dependent on the weather during the year.

The color palette of junos is very diverse, but only in shades: the flowers of this plant are always painted either in white and cream, or in different tones of yellow and light purple.

Juno Caucasian (Juno caucasica).

Types of Juno

Despite the fact that more than five dozen plants were previously united in the Juno genus, today most of the species have been reclassified as irises. As decorative plants use only 3 of 5 species of juno. All of them are united by beautiful foliage and spectacular white or yellow flowering, comparative unpretentiousness and endurance. Junos are found throughout nature throughout Eurasia, but the scatter in their ranges is quite large. Some species are North African. These plants live in dry steppes and on mountain slopes, which in many respects determines the specifics of their cultivation.

Juno Caucasian (Juno caucasica) - a compact yellow-flowering species up to 25 cm high. Small, flat onions up to 2 cm wide produce thickened roots and sturdy shoots, crowned with a small-flowered inflorescence. The leaves are crowded or widely spaced, hugging the stem, gray-green. The flowers are asymmetrical, up to 5 cm in diameter, with long, elegant and short inner marigold-like perianth lobes. Pale yellow color is emphasized by a bright spot on the outer petals. This is one of the earliest-blooming irises, which in favorable weather can bloom even at the end of March.

Juno Foster (Juno fosterana) - a compact plant up to 20 cm high with a centimeter elongated bulb, surprising with its huge amount of brown dry scales. Stems with close, sickle-curved leaves with a bordered edge look spectacular and unusual. From 1 to 4 flowers bloom on each shoot, the diameter of which reaches 5 cm. The perianth tube is long, up to 4 cm, the outer lobes are pale yellow, the inner ones are pale purple. This is the only "multi-colored" look of genuine Juno.

Juno Waril (Juno waryleyensis) is a very ornamental plant with larger, up to 2.5 cm bulbs and stems about 30 cm tall, flaunting widely spaced leaves and symmetrical internodes. Unlike other junos, the Warilian leaves are not dark, but light, with a beautiful border along the edge and a rough surface. The flowers are non-aromatic, but with a beautiful purple color, the shades of which can vary from dark to light. Perianth with a long tube flaunts with a spectacular fingernail and a velvet dark plate on the outer lobes and rich purple inner lobes.

Juno Caucasian (Juno caucasica). Juno Warilian (Juno waryleyensis). Juno fosterana

Two other types of juno are considered extremely rare. - Juno porphyrochrysa and Juno issica.

Genuine junos are very rarely found on sale, with the exception of perhaps the Caucasian juno. But more and more often hybrid junos appearing in the catalogs of exotics obtained by crossing and breeding plants that have better adaptability to the conditions of regions with severe winters and are more promising.

But those junoes who were transferred to the genus Iris, where much more common and popular. So, the most famous of the early flowering bulbous irises, the Bukhara iris, is associated with the name “Juno”.

Iris of Bukhara (Iris bucharica (synonym - Juno bucharica)) - an onion perennial, the bulbs of which are limited to a maximum of 2 cm in height and diameter. Stems with a height of 15 to 30 cm are covered with sickle-curving, light green grooved leaves narrowed at the apex. On each stem up to 5 flowers bloom with a diameter of about 7 cm. The internal perianth lobes are white, sharp, with a rhombic-three-lobed plate. The outer lobes are painted in dark or light yellow tones, painted with a fingernail gradually expanding into an elongated plate. Bukhara iris seems delicate and watercolor. Flowers appear in late April, contrast beautifully with glossy leaves, flowering lasts up to 3 weeks.

Iris of Bukhara (Iris bucharica) or Juno of Bukhara (Juno bucharica)

Junos and other plants that have been retrained back to irises continue to spread under the old name:

1) Iris Orchid or juno orchid (Iris orchioides, earlier - Juno orchioides) is a very decorative and popular bulbous perennial. Stems with fairly large internodes reach 30 cm in height. Up to 5 flowers bloom in the axils of the leaves. The leaves are bordered, light, rough. Pale yellow flowers are very effective due to the bright golden, with purple strokes color of the plates, the dark crest of the outer lobes and the sharp three-lobed plate - the inner ones. Orchid iris blooms in early spring, is considered a very valuable and exclusive plant.

2) Dwarf iris (Iris pumila, synonym - juno blue (Juno coerulea)) - a catchy white-lilac look in which the flowers contrast especially beautifully with foliage. Bulbs of dwarf iris in diameter do not exceed 2.5 cm. Leaves with a bright, rich green color, they sit close together, internodes are practically not visible. On each peduncle, up to 5 flowers bloom, the shoots themselves are low, only up to 7 cm.The lilac-blue flowers with a diameter of up to 7 cm are painted with lanceolate inner lobes and twice as large as the outer ones, on which a wing-shaped marigold with almost parallel edges is clearly visible. Dwarf iris blooms in mid-spring, looks fresh and bright.

3) Iris substitute (Iris vicaria or juno replacement - Juno vicaria)) - a plant with larger bulbs, up to 3.5 cm, stems capable of growing up to half a meter and light glossy foliage, on which a yellowish tint at the base and bluish at the edge of the leaf plates are noticeable. The flowers are non-aromatic, pale, cream-lilac, with a dark yellow spot and crest. It is considered one of the easiest to grow onion irises for the middle band.

These are plants with the same leafy shoots, but with a slightly different flowering, mainly a two-color palette and some differences in vegetation. Such "juno" is much easier to grow, they feel great in any loose soil, but still the requirements are almost identical.

Iris substitute (Iris vicaria) or Juno substitute (Juno vicaria). Dwarf iris (Iris pumila) or Juno blue (Juno coerulea). Iris orchid (Iris orchioides) or Juno orchid (Juno orchioides)

In the design of the garden, the Juno is used:

  • on the alpine slides;
  • in rockeries;
  • for the introduction of contrasts with carpet plants and boulders in stony gardens;
  • in landscape groups with spring stars;
  • in the foreground flower beds;
  • for registration of southern slopes and terraced gardens;
  • for the design of the front edge of groups and hedges with flowering shrubs;
  • like a spring decoration under large wood;
  • in pot culture;
  • in mobile rock gardens;
  • as a cut and greenhouse plant;
  • for distillation;
  • like indoor gardening.

Best partners for Juno: Muscari, hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils, Scylls, snowdrops, hionodoxes, anemones

The conditions necessary for the youths

The key to success in growing juno in the garden, especially in the middle lane is creating conditions close to the natural habitats of the plant. Climate change brings our conditions closer to the beloved Juno - cold winter, dry summer and wet spring. For junoes, they necessarily provide warm, secluded, protected places, reliably protected from winds and drafts by large landings. But at the same time, not shaded, but only well-lit areas are suitable for these plants. True, it should be borne in mind that even when planting under large trees, the youngs will enjoy the sun during the growing season, because usually, to the withering of the young, the young trees and shrubs just release their leaves.

Soil characteristics need to be given special attention. Junoes cannot stand stagnation of water and are used to growing in rocky soil. Drained, light areas of rockeries and rock gardens are ideal for them, but not elevations, but hollows or relatively low places where there is no risk of increased freezing. On flower beds and in garden ensembles for loons, light loams are better suited, which will completely replace the usual stony-clay soils. At the slightest risk of stagnation of water in the area where they plan to plant the juno, it is better to immediately lay additional drainage.

Growing in containers is considered a simpler way, because it is easier for juno to provide a dry summer dormancy. When planting in pots and containers, junos require a sunny spot and a universal light substrate with the addition of a double portion of sand and a small amount of organic fertilizer. Large, deep containers are selected for juno so that fleshy roots can develop freely in them and a very high drainage can be laid.

Iris substitute (Iris vicaria) or Juno substitute (Juno vicaria)

Juno landing

Junoes planted a little later than tulips - in mid-September. When planting, you must be very careful with fleshy roots, trying to cause as little harm as possible, even to thin filiform roots. Junoes are planted in individual planting pits, placing bulbs at a depth of 5-8 cm (despite the small size, a higher planting is associated with the risk of losing them in the first winter). The distance from neighboring plants is at least 30-40 cm, and preferably half a meter (these bulbs are actively growing). On top of the landing, it is advisable to mulch with any available materials.

Junos are planted in containers to the same depth. But at the bottom of the tanks must lay a high layer of large drainage from 1/3 to? tank heights.

Juno Care

Despite the status of the plant half-wild and unpretentious, the juno will require additional watering. Plants must be watered during periods of drought in spring and autumn. When the plant goes to the summer dormant period, it is not watered, and if the precipitation is too heavy, it is additionally protected from excess moisture by special greenhouses.

If there is no way to protect the plants from summer overmoistening, no measures have been taken to drain the soil, then after foliage wilting, dig out the bulbous and keep them in large containers until planting in September, falling asleep with light soil or sand (the roots must be handled very carefully). Since the period of vegetation of the Juno is very short, additional irrigation will not cause difficulties.

Feeding is carried out only for potted Juno (during the growing season - every week). No other care measures are needed, with the exception of young crops that need weed protection.

These plants need regular rejuvenation and transplantation with a frequency of 1 time in 4-5 years due to the tendency to actively grow and thicken to the detriment of flowering. In this case, they are dug up after withering, separated, and after summer in a container they are planted in a new place in September.

Thanks to a very short growing season, pests and diseases of Juno are not terrible. But with waterlogging, especially in summer, the plant is extremely sensitive to rot. Juno bulbs rarely attract rodents.

Dwarf iris (Iris pumila) or Juno blue (Juno coerulea)

Juno breeding

This bulbous can be obtained both by vegetative methods and from seeds.

Juno forms affiliated plants quite actively. With the formation of dense "nests" juno, you can dig and separate individual bulbs, each of which is planted as an independent plant. "Nests" are planted after the end of the growing season and leaf death. During separation, the roots are very carefully handled, since the regeneration buds at their base are very easy to damage. Dug bulbs are stored in sand or light soil in containers until mid-September.

Juno seeds are sown in the fall. Shallow sowing with mulching of plantings for the winter allows you to save fragile sprouts in the first spring. Young juniors require enhanced care - protection from weeds, careful loosening of the soil, watering in spring and autumn. Bulbs bloom in the third or fourth year. A transplant to a permanent place is carried out in the second or third year, in the fall, digging up plants in the spring after leaf withering and keeping them in containers until planting. Juno seeds germinate for 20 years.

Junos are also propagated by dividing the bottom of the bulb - separating the roots with a bud at the base, from which an independent plant will develop.