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Michigan irises spring into bloom

Yellow and maroon iris
Yellow and maroon iris
Kristen Wilkerson

Each year Michigan's flower beds beckon spring with their highly colorful assortment. From the early narcissus to tulips, the colors abound. One of the more popular flowers in southern Michigan gardens is the perennial known as an iris. Its petals unfold into layers of soft, gentle color as its fragrance reaches out to hummingbirds, bees, and other insects.

When questioned about favorite flowers, residents explained why they like irises in their flower beds. First, they are easy to tend. The tubular root system multiplies underground, stretching into a circular bunch. After an entire ring is established, gardeners simply break the ring apart to establish new clusters of irises.

Another reason gardeners enjoy growing irises is they are very hardy. Year after year, the perennial rarely dies due to frost or an incredibly cold winter. They are by nature survivors.

Finally, the most obvious reason people grow irises is for their visual beauty. Their soft, brightly colored petals make a great contrast with the pointed greenery below. Irises not only add delicate flair to an outdoor garden, they also make excellent additions to indoor bouquets.

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