Iris unguicularis is both scruffy and beautiful Two plants are on this week’s top-of-mind list, both for flowering so willingly and unexpectedly in dull mid-winter. The first is Iris unguicularis or the Algerian iris.  Noel Kingsbury sums it up neatly when he says of it “It tends to look as if it should be somewhere else…” Or perhaps sometime else. From scruffy wintery leaves perfect irises appear and year after year surprise me and fill me with wonder.

Iris unguicularis Primula malacoides surprises me for different reasons. Primulas are notoriously difficult in South Africa. Ask me. I’ve had and I’ve lost. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. But this little blighter is yours for life. And it seeds itself in unexpected and charming places, and is every bit as delicate as all the special ones that I have broken my heart over. I’ve reached the age of the easy option, and this little tyke helped me get there…

primula malacoides


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