Iris ensata Variegata is the variegated form of the species; the variegation is most marked on young foliage and adds interest before flowering has begun. The variegation fades as the season progresses and by the time the purple flowers form, it has almost gone. Iris ensata plants are not suitable for standing permanently in water, despite the fact that many suppliers sell them in perforated aquatic baskets. They require moist but open soil conditions and will rot if left standing in water over winter.
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