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What's this plant please?

Can anyone tell me the name of the variegated spikey plants by the path please? I'm in the middle of designing my border and I love to include these.


  • AngelicantAngelicant Posts: 130
    I think they are Iris Tectorum Cruella - Variegated Japanese Roof Iris
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,364
    I think it is a variegated Iris.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 2,362
    It looks like a variegated iris, maybe iris ensata variegata or iris pallida variegata.
  • Thanks
    Does anyone know if you can get a small phormium similar to this in height and colour?
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 2,362
    edited April 2021
    Phormium are going to be taller and more arching in habit. The iris works so well in this picture because the silvery bluey green of the leaves are mirrored by the shrubs behind. There is a phormium (tanax variegata) but it’s green and cream and I don’t think it would be suitable at the front of the border.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,608
    edited April 2021
    The only thing I can think of that has a spiky(ish) shape, is quite short, has white/cream variegation and is evergreen (which I assume you wanted, otherwise the iris would fit the bill) would be one of the variegated types of Carex - something like Everest or Ice Dance. The leaves are much narrower than the iris though, and arching.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • The one in the picture is Iris pallida ‘Argentea Variegata’ and is also at Beth Chatto:

    Both the other plants suggested above will work, although the Carex may not be so happy in baking sun and the Sisyrinchium has quite long periods when it looks a bit tatty. 

    No Phormium will have this pure a colour, though you can get a good light variegated form in ‘Tricolor’. But be aware that Phormiums become very substantial plants, best treated as akin to shrubs in terms of where you position them. They are not front of border plants.
  • Thanks. I presume those are lavender plants behind the Iris? Is there a variety of lavender you would recommend that stays small and compact?
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