This species is native to Italy and, as a parent of the Tall Bearded Iris, is the source of the sweet fragrance found in many of today's hybrids. It's a mistake, however, to ignore the virtues of this plant on its own, especially a selected form known as I. pallida 'Variegata'. As the name suggests, this is a richly decorative plant whose leaves are elegantly striped in a pattern that begins nearly lemon yellow and fades to creamy white. This process continues through the summer, producing a blend of subtle foliage hues, all of which complement the June flowers of rich violet-blue. At 3ft, this is a plant that can carry its own weight in a garden. In well-drained soil and at least a half day's sun, it is sure to please for many years. More rugged than it looks, too.