Hermodactylus tuberosa — Snake’s Head Iris

Hermodactylus tuberosa is an heirloom bulb, not hard to find among the bulb vendors and not really expensive. It takes a year or two to get established.

I don’t really see a snake’s head when I look at this pretty little blossom, but that’s its common name. It is not considered an iris since it was renamed Hermodactylus. It’s pretty in the garden. Vinca has surrounded it, not the best companion. It needs something like Iberis or Alyssum to contrast.

I read that  it is fragrant. I didn’t really kneel down and sniff to see. It’s certainly a novelty.



  1. Nell Jean

     /  February 3, 2012

    I can’t see a snake’s head either. It has some other names, one has something to do about widows because of the black falls, I guess. Since it has been officially omitted from the iris genurs I guess I’ll just call it Hermes Fingers, for the long tubers.

  2. I’ve grown that one… Haven’t seen it yet this year…
    It does take a bit of imagination to see the flower as a rattlesnake with fangs open preparing to strike…

    Iris foetidous has similar colouration… and is a striking foliage plant.

  3. I had to look hard to see a snake head in that beautiful bloom, but I finally convinced myself I did! By the way, I also love the views of your garden in the previous post.

  4. oh, how beautiful! I will have to research if it would grow for me in Central FL… Enjoy your pretty Iris 🙂

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