Visit Iris Hill on the east side of Powell Gardens for a display of this spring favorite, which happens to be the official flower of Kansas City.
Iris Hill was established in the early 1990s by Dr. Norlan Henderson, a beloved friend of the Gardens. A retired botany professor from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Dr. Henderson helped plant the gentle slope with meandering ribbons of flowers. In January 2016, "Doc" passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 100. Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen wrote a lovely piece about his dear friend on Powell Gardens' blog.
The collection includes more than 500 varieties named as winners of the American Iris Society's Award of Merit. In 2009, the collection was featured at a national meeting of the American Iris Society.
Today members of the local AIS chapter volunteer their time to care for this exceptional collection. Peak bloom is usually around mid-May. For 2016, the peak arrived in time for Mother's Day and as of May 27, there are just a handful of blooms remaining. Check Powell Gardens' Facebook page for updates, and be sure to share your visit on social media using #IrisHill and #PowellGardens.
Did you know? The reeds for wind instruments like the clarinet come from the spectacular tall Variegated Reeds (Arundo donax 'Variegata' and 'Shanghai') found in the Perennial Garden's Bold Border. Learn More »