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Category: Iris Page 2 of 4

Iris is named after the goddess of rainbows…need we say more?

Iris Boo

By Markham – 1971

They don’t come any cuter than Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB) Iris “Boo”.  She doesn’t get any taller than 12 inches.  An amoena, which means that the standards are white and the falls are colored. In this case there is a crescent shaped purple spot on the falls with detailed veining and penciling near the beards, which are yellow. This cutie won the award of merit in 1976. They are early bloomers and you may want to get down close to smell the sweet fragrance.

Parentage:   Elisa Bee X Warburton 72IJ-1: ((Fairy Flax x Blue Denim) x sibling)


Iris Blue Denim

By Warburton – 1958

I just love the color of this historic Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB) Iris. It’s a true sky blue, the ruffled falls and standards are the same color but there is noticeable darker blue veining throughout and a yellow beard for accent.  This Iris pumila is about 12 inches tall and is great for the rock garden or front of the border.

Parentage:  ‘Great Lakes ‘ X ( ‘April Morn’ x unknown)



Iris Cardinal

By Bliss, 1919

At three feet, this tall bearded iris is a Dominion seedling. It has perfect form and velvety texture.  Lavender standards and rose purple falls accented with yellow beards and white penciling, make this old but really good iris, one to have in your garden.  It is well branched and so it blooms for a long period. Zone 3.


Iris Neglecta

Collected by Hornemann – 1813

This Historic TB Iris is something of an enigma. If I remember the story goes that it was originally thought to be a species I. Neglecta but some believe that it was a naturally occurring hybrid between I. variegata and I. pallida or possibly I variegata and sambucina. There are multiple species of iris growing wild around the Mediterranean and it is uncertain if they are varieties or hybrid crosses of each other.  It was first sold commercially by Biltmore Nursery Iris Catalog in 1912. This little guy has probably under gone some natural selection over the last 200 years as well because you will notice that varieties of this selection sold by different sources are often not exactlyIris Neglecta (3)1 alike. To confuse things even more the title “Neglecta” has come to be used to name a “class” of iris that have a bi-tone color pattern featuring blue and white. Characteristics that this iris should show include dark rich purple falls that are netted with white and lavender standards. The beards are yellow. By today’s standards these would most likely be considered Miniature Tall Bearded. Although they are 2.5 feet tall the flowers are smaller than modern Tall Bearded Iris. They have a delicate form that is beautiful in a light wind.


Iris Wabash

By Williamson – 1936, Dorothy Dietz X Cantabile.

This historic heirloom became popular in the 40’s, and was one of the most popular irises of the time. A beautiful Tall Bearded Iris with snowy white standards that provide a striking contrast to the ultramarine falls. The picture is finished by white piping that brightens the margin. They have a light sweet fragrance when they bloom in early June.  Winning the Dykes Memorial medal in 1940 is what really kicked off their popularity. This extremely vigorous variety is great because it will continue to bloom even if it becomes overcrowded.  Wabash is from Indiana where the Williamson’s owned the Longfield Iris Farm, in Bulffton Indiana. This Iris is named after the Wabash River and there is a town of the same name. The river was named for the Indian name Wa-ba-shi-ki which means “bright white”. The Iris farm closed in the late 1950’s, but if you are in Indiana be sure to see the Williamson/Cook Memorial Iris garden.

Bright Hour looks a lot like Wabash, but does not have the reddish purple flushing of the foliage at the base.


Iris Ensata Sky Wings

By Peck – 1971

Siberian Iris Sky Wings

Siberian Iris Sky Wings

Sky Wings has a gorgeous sky blue flower with a yellow throat topping sword like dark green foliage that remains attractive throughout the growing season and also has beautiful rusty fall color. It is 2 ½ – 3 feet tall and is very hardy (down to zone 2) and vigorous. It prefers moist conditions, but will do fine in average garden soil.


Siberian Iris Snow Queen

Collected in Japan by Barr in 1900.

An oldie but a goodie; this variety has pure white flowers with bright yellow in the throat.  They are held high over attractive blue green foliage that is about 2 feet tall.  Hardy to zone 4, this variety even looks good in the winter with its rust fall foliage and attractive seed pods.  Looks a lot like gulls wing but it is a little smaller both in flower size and height.



Siberian Iris Caesar’s Brother

Iris Siberian Caesar's Brother

Iris Siberian Caesar’s Brother

Siberian Iris are very hardy (zone 3). This one is deep purple and blooms in early June here in Wisconsin. It gets about 3 feet tall and can form large clumps up to 3 feet across. When the clumps get large enough that they start dying out in the middle just do some transplants. They are very tough and can take most conditions including poor dry soil and even boggy conditions, but will do best in moist soil and full sun.  Siberian Iris attracts butterflies and they are not favored by deer and rabbits.  There are no bugs or disease to worry about with these plants and they remain attractive well into fall and winter.  Just cut them down in spring.


Siberian Iris Rikugi Sakura

By Shidara, 1988

Although this is actually a Siberian Iris, it does look like a Japanese iris and is sometimes mistakenly listed as one. The stiff grassy foliage is about 2 feet tall with the 3-4 inch blooms in mass above the foliage in June.

iris siberian rikugi sakura

iris siberian rikugi sakura

These beauties are hardy to zone 4 some even say zone 3 and prefer slightly acidic moist soil. They can tolerate wet feet at the edge of your pond, but will also grow in standard garden soil.

The big bi-colored flowers have a wheel like shape to them. There are 6 petals with lavender falls and 3 signals which are also lavender. The center of the bloom is cream to cinnamon in color.


Iris What Again

By Ensminger – 1990

This little darling has wisteria blue standards and straw colored falls.  Brilliant blue beards complete the package.  Others say that it is supposed to be 8” but it is 6” tops here in Wisconsin.  I thought it was a MDB when I got it. A vigorous grower it won the American Iris Society Award of Merit in 1996.


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