I was lucky enough to catch the winter fruit show on our clump of Iris foetidissima last weekend. This little-known, evergreen, woodland iris from southern Europe, suffers because of its specific epithet “foetidissima”, which means stinking. That’s probably a bit much coming from someone with hundreds of amorphophallus clones. The name reportedly was given because the foliage smells like roast beef. I’m not making this up!

We grow ours in dense, dry shade, where the plant thrives. Reportedly, the pendulous seed pods last for years when used in flower arrangements. I can attest, however, that they don’t last that long around our cats, Jake and Elwood.

Iris foetidissima

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