I first planted Japanese Iris (I. ensata) in my garden three years ago, and this week I finally saw some flowers! These are definitely the largest and most flamboyant blooms I've ever seen on an iris.
The top three pictures show 'August Emporer'. I don't like a lot of bi-colored flowers, but I'm making an exception for this one. The blooms are wide (7 or 8 inches across) and flat.
Unfortunately this flower didn't last long - it only looked fresh for about a day. I guess that's why it's a Japanese iris. Japanese gardens are known for their elegant restraint, so a flower this showy must have to make up for it by being very short-lived.
Behind the 'Fire and Ice' hosta you can see the leaves of the first unnamed Japanese iris clump I planted (thanks Kathy). It hasn't shown any purple flowers yet, so I guess I need to move it out into more sun. But the leaves are very pretty.
Here is 'Momogasumi', which was advertised as being pink. Hmmm. That's not what I'd call pink, but I guess what they meant to say is that it's pinkish lavender.
I also have a start of white 'Eden's Charm', but it didn't bloom this year. Neither AE nor M nor EC are very large clumps yet. They have just a few leaves each and look rather pitiful (hence the close up camera shots).
I can't wait to see the show when the clumps mature and put out a bunch of blooms at once. I'll have to look quickly to catch them before they're gone, but they will make some nice floral fireworks for the middle of summer.