Dwarf Iris – Spring’s Little Soldiers

Dwarf Iris in the Spring Snow

Nick-naming them Spring’s Little Soldiers coming across these little Dwarf Iris opened up a whole new world of flower discovery. Initially I had no idea what they were, let alone that they made their appearance in early spring. Crocus generally seem to be some of the first flowers to bloom in early spring. But these little fellas were on a whole other level.

Hardy and Vibrant Little Flowers

Growing close to the ground at only a few inches tall, they are hardy to say the least. The shades these pretty little flowers varies from a deep violet to purple-blue and even a soft powder blue. With their upright little clusters and yellow markings they remind me of little soldiers in uniforms. Standing at attention. I admire their bravery amidst the spring conditions they endure! 

Soft powder blue Dwarf Iris flowers.

Blue-purple Dwarf iris looking like little soldiers.

Surrounded by Spring Snow

Clusters of purple dwarf iris surrounded bysnow
Deep purple Dwarf Iris surrounded by spring snow.

These little guys appear to thrive in some pretty sparse growing conditions. From the rocky setting within a xeriscape garden, they look quite content.

Then again, seeing the vibrant little Dwarf Irises surrounded by snow turns up their growing capacity a notch or two. It’s definitely not a sight you see everyday.

By the looks of this photo, they appear rather at home and undaunted by the elements. I love the way they are growing up right around the pillows of snow. I look at them with awe. Determined to bloom is an understatement!

The stark contrast of rocks, snow and their intense purple colors is quite striking. It makes you appreciate them even more.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to photograph them.

I Stand Alone – Some Go at it Solo

soliatry vibrant blue-purple dwarf iris flower
Solitary Dwarf Iris stands proudly solo.

Every so often you’ll see one of the little fellas flying solo. It’s hard to ignore the majesty that comes with such a regal little flower.

Standing upright as if to say “look at me!” I’ve really come to love taking photos of the little guys – even if it requires laying in the dirt.

When you get so close, you can appreciate all their details. From the different shades of purple-blue to the veins and yellow and white markings.

This photo has become a particular favorite. Not sure why? Perhaps the color against the dull background. Even though this flower is all of 3-4 inches tall, it’s detailed stature makes up for what it lacks in height.

The fact that these colors and flowers exist so effortlessly in nature blows my mind!

Some Have Prickly Neighbors

cluster of purple dwarf iris by barrel cactus
Cluster of Dwarf Iris next to barrel cactus.

These brave souls have prickly neighbors!

I actually know this particular barrel cactus quite well as it is a favorite to photograph. If all goes well it will be covered in bright red Claret Cup cactus flower blooms come May.

However, the vibrant purple Dwarf Iris popping up so close to the barrel cactus was new to me. It certainly made photographing the little guys challenging. But when all is said and done, it was well worth the effort. Thankfully I managed not to get embedded with any cactus spines!

This local xeriscape garden is full of surprises and nature never fails to disappoint.

Like many other early risers in Spring, the life-span of Dwarf Irises is short-lived. They may be gone for now, but certainly not forgotten! 🙂


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