Scientific: Iris germanica
Common: bearded iris
Family: Iridaceae
Origin: Hybrid, original species from Mediterranean region

Pronounciation: I-ris ger-MAN-i-ca

Hardiness zones

Landscape Use: Iris is a traditional herbaceous perennial garden border accent plant. It's also used in fragrance gardens.

Form & Character: Upright and stout, colorful, informal, yet traditional.

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial to 18 inches to 4 feet, clumping by horizontal branching rhizomes just beneath the soil surface.

Foliage/Texture: Alternate flat basal fans of 10 or more leaves, outermost leaves smallest, lanceolate to 18 inches long by 2 inches wide, glaucous blue; coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers, 4 to 8 on a naked spike up to 4 feet tall. Spikes arise from the terminal meristem generally the second year after transplanting. Flower colors are abundant ranging from white, blue, red to yellow; bicolors are common too. Flowers are 6-segmented with 3 segments upright and incurved (called "standards") and 3 segments reflexed (called "falls"). The "falls" have a tuft of trichomes (hairs) at their base which is the "beard". Iris fruits are large, green, ovoid capsules.

Seasonal Color: Mostly spring flowering accent in the Phoenix area.

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Partial to Full sun, but avoid Phoenix west exposures.

Soil: Tolerant of alkalinity and drought when not in bloom, prefers well drained.

Watering: Regular when actively growing during cool season, otherwise irregular in summer. In Mediterranean climates such as found in southern Califonia, iris require no supplemntal water.

Pruning: Remove spent flower stalks and old senescing foliage.

Propagation: Division of clumps every three years for multiplication of stock and retention of vigor.

Disease and pests: Whitefly, diabrotica on flowers, root rot in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Stately, popular, colorful herbaceous perennial with hundreds of cultivated varieties. Sizes range from miniatures (8-15" height) to tall bearded (4' height). Iris means rainbow. There are many species of Iris worldwide.

American Iris Society
Sun Country Iris Society