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Siberian Flag Iris sibirica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-ris sy-BEER-ah-kuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Siberian Iris is an easy to grow, medium tall, clumping, low maintenance, versatile perennial that is native to Central and Eastern Europe. Its showy flowers, interesting seed pods and bluish green strappy foliage make this a wonderful specimen plant. Siberian Iris generally blooms in shades of bluish-purple; however some of its cultivars have been introduced in white, pink, orange, red, and yellow.  The word iris translates to the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology.  Through history, its blooms have been a symbol of monarchs and royal families. The flower's shape is the inspiration for the french 'fleur-de-lis'. Siberian Iris typically reaches a height of 2 feet, although some cultivars can be taller.  Flowering profusely, clumps can produce 12 to 20 flowers.

It is a moisture loving plant, and will thrive near a stream or edge of a pond, wherever soil is evenly moist. Well established plants will tolerate some drought. Grow in full sun. Shade can have an effect on the plants performance. Too much shade may cause the plant to lay over and flowers to produce fewer blooms. In the southeast, protect from hot afternoon sun. Siberian Iris tolerates a wide variety of soils, but will perform best when grown in moist fertile, organically rich, slightly acidic, well drained soils. Divide the plants about every three years, or once the plants become over crowded and fewer blooms appear.

Growing from rhizomes that will spread, over time your iris will form a beautiful clump of blooms.  They are perfect for cutting and including in an arrangement.  When the clumps become too large, they can be easily divided.  Remove the rhizomes from the garden by gently loosening the surrounding soil.  Rocking the plant back and forth will help protect the rhizome from damage during removal.  After cutting back to 6 to 8 inches, each clump can be cut with a sharp knife.  Ensure that each division contains at least two fan division  Plant each division, cover with 1 to 2 inches of soil and keep moist for 6 to 8 weeks. The best planting time for the southeast is fall. Plant in the spring in cooler winter areas. It may take more than one season for the plants to bloom, but planting in the fall will give them a head start. Siberian Iris bloom best after a cold period in winter. A lack of cold period may reduce blooms and the plant's ability to produce new bulbs. In USDA hardiness 8b and above, warm winters may hinder these blooms. Until established, this plant prefers consistent moisture. It tolerates drought after it has been established in one or two seasons. This plant is less prone to pests and diseases of other Irises.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Occasional issue can occur, such as bacterial soft root.  Slugs and snails may can cause damage, however, they too are not a persistent problem.  Wear gloves when handling this plant as the sap can cause skin irritation.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blueberry Fair'
    Ruffled blue flowers.
  • 'Blue Moon'
    Violet-blue flowers.
  • 'Butter and Sugar'
    White and yellow flowers.
  • 'Caesar's Brother'
    Height is over 3 feet and has deep purple flowers
  • 'Contrast in Styles'
    Purple standards and lighter blue purple styles.
  • 'Fond Kiss'
    White flowers with a pink flush.
  • 'Granny Jean'
    Mauve-pink flowers with darker veining and white at the base.
  • 'Gull's Wing'
    White flowers.
  • 'King of Kings'
    White flowers
  • 'Lavender Bounty'
    Ruffled, lavender-pink flowers.
  • 'Mission Bay'
    Blue flowers.
  • 'Over in Gloryland'
    5" deep-blue, ruffled flowers.
  • 'Perry's Blue'
    Sky blue flowers with white markings.
  • 'Ruffled Velvet'
    Deep purple with yellow veins.
  • 'Shirley Pope'
    Large, flared deep purple/blue flowers.
  • 'Silver Edge'
    Clumping habit. Pale blue flowers with a silver edge.
  • 'Sky Mirror'
    Sky blue flowers with a yellow blaze.
  • 'Strawberry Fair'
    Ruffled, lavender-pink with magenta/pink and white signal edged in blue.
  • 'Sultan's Ruby'
    Deep magenta flowers
  • 'Super Ego'
    Pale blue flowers with darker purple-blue falls.
  • 'White Swirl'
    Ivory-white, ruffled, rounded flowers with gold flush at the base.
  • 'Wing on Wing'
    White flowers
'Blueberry Fair', 'Blue Moon', 'Butter and Sugar', 'Caesar's Brother', 'Contrast in Styles', 'Fond Kiss', 'Granny Jean', 'Gull's Wing', 'King of Kings', 'Lavender Bounty', 'Mission Bay', 'Over in Gloryland', 'Perry's Blue', 'Ruffled Velvet', 'Shirley Pope', 'Silver Edge', 'Sky Mirror', 'Strawberry Fair', 'Sultan's Ruby', 'Super Ego', 'White Swirl', 'Wing on Wing'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#rabbit resistant#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#long bloom time#cutting garden#pollinator plant#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#dry soils intolerant#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blueberry Fair'
    Ruffled blue flowers.
  • 'Blue Moon'
    Violet-blue flowers.
  • 'Butter and Sugar'
    White and yellow flowers.
  • 'Caesar's Brother'
    Height is over 3 feet and has deep purple flowers
  • 'Contrast in Styles'
    Purple standards and lighter blue purple styles.
  • 'Fond Kiss'
    White flowers with a pink flush.
  • 'Granny Jean'
    Mauve-pink flowers with darker veining and white at the base.
  • 'Gull's Wing'
    White flowers.
  • 'King of Kings'
    White flowers
  • 'Lavender Bounty'
    Ruffled, lavender-pink flowers.
  • 'Mission Bay'
    Blue flowers.
  • 'Over in Gloryland'
    5" deep-blue, ruffled flowers.
  • 'Perry's Blue'
    Sky blue flowers with white markings.
  • 'Ruffled Velvet'
    Deep purple with yellow veins.
  • 'Shirley Pope'
    Large, flared deep purple/blue flowers.
  • 'Silver Edge'
    Clumping habit. Pale blue flowers with a silver edge.
  • 'Sky Mirror'
    Sky blue flowers with a yellow blaze.
  • 'Strawberry Fair'
    Ruffled, lavender-pink with magenta/pink and white signal edged in blue.
  • 'Sultan's Ruby'
    Deep magenta flowers
  • 'Super Ego'
    Pale blue flowers with darker purple-blue falls.
  • 'White Swirl'
    Ivory-white, ruffled, rounded flowers with gold flush at the base.
  • 'Wing on Wing'
    White flowers
'Blueberry Fair', 'Blue Moon', 'Butter and Sugar', 'Caesar's Brother', 'Contrast in Styles', 'Fond Kiss', 'Granny Jean', 'Gull's Wing', 'King of Kings', 'Lavender Bounty', 'Mission Bay', 'Over in Gloryland', 'Perry's Blue', 'Ruffled Velvet', 'Shirley Pope', 'Silver Edge', 'Sky Mirror', 'Strawberry Fair', 'Sultan's Ruby', 'Super Ego', 'White Swirl', 'Wing on Wing'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#rabbit resistant#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#long bloom time#cutting garden#pollinator plant#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#dry soils intolerant#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    sibirica
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Hybrid of two Asian species
    Distribution:
    Central Europe,Russia, Japan, Korea
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Bulb Storage:
    Store in a cool dry location.
    Edibility:
    The rhizomes are not edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flowers have 2 pairs of petals consisting of 3 large outer sepals and 3 inner tepals. Siberian Iris are available in white, yellow, blue, wine, and purple. The soft looking flower bloom is divided into six sections, three upright petals (standards) and three lower outer petals (falls) which are beardless. The falls of the Siberian Iris are marked with white or gold flashes which begin from the inner petal and go to mid petal. The flowers tend to be smaller than those of bearded Iris varieties.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Ribbed grassy leaves can range from 10 to 30 inches long, while the width rarely exceeds 1 inch. Leaves grow at the base of the plant. The leaves are shorter than the flowers stems. Arching leaves form a vase-like clump of foliage
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The erect stems rise above the leaves and each can have 2 t0 5 flowers.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Meadow
    Patio
    Pond
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Insect Pests
    Poor Soil
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingesting rhizome or root stock can cause stomach pain and vomiting. Contact with sap can cause skin irritation.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified, possibly a glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice