With all their frills and furbelows, tall bearded iris could be considered the queen of the garden, but if that is the case, then with their understated elegance, spuria iris must surely be the king.
Spurias are beardless iris, and are the penultimate to bloom. They are truly border plants, as they resent disturbance, and can be left to their own devices for 10-15 years, with little more needed than to cut back the stems after bloom, tidy the foliage in the autumn, and supply a dose of fertilizer in both spring and after bloom. Spurias tend to be tall (one noted hybrid grows to about 2M), work well at the back of the border, and even after bloom is over, their upright leaves become an excellent foil for other plants in front.
Not all spurias are tall however, as species such as I graminea pseudocyperus only grow to 30-38cm (12”-15”), which makes it good at the front of the border.
If the weather were to get warm enough, some spuria hybrids would become summer dormant, but there is little likelihood of that happening in the UK, so we can continue to enjoy their foliage until the autumn rain cuts it back in preparation for the following year’s growth.