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Iris x germanica is often confused with:
Iris ensata Iris ensata
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Iris Flower in pond pots (1.5 ft. of water) in spring in Moore County
Clematis hybrida Clematis 'marcelina' late large flowered
Allium Alllium

Bearded Iris Iris x germanica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-riss jer-MAN-ih-kah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This non-native perennial herbaceous herb from the Mediterranean thrives and blooms best in full sun when planted in rich well-drained soil, though plants will tolerate some shade.  They do not grow well in heavy clay soil. These are generally tall showy irises with large, single to several blooms rising as much as 3 feet above the leaves on single naked stems.  Blooms are 6-parted with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" with yellow beards and 3 inner, erect "standards".  The flowers have been cultivated to include a rich variety from blues and purples to shades of pink, yellow, orange, white and black.  They have also developed a variety of heights to offer use in all areas of a perennial border from dwarfs and miniatures through medium to tall.

Rhizomes should be planted at soil level or lightly covered and not mulched to prevent over moisture leading to root rot.  These iris prefer dryer soil and should not be overwatered.  To encourage growth and blooming, the plants should be fertilized in early spring and be divided after flowering (in mid to late summer). This also helps prevent fungal and other diseases, such as crown rot and mosaic virus.  Iris borer is a major insect pest to this plant and can be managed by removing affected roots and foliage immediately, as well as clearing the bed of foliage at the end of the season and division of plants as they become crowded. Blooms should also be removed after they fade.  The leaves, as in most iris, are strap-like and overlapping at the base forming a clump. The fruit is in the form of a capsule.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Iris.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Corner Roadside Planting Flowers Galore Backyard Respite Landscape Corner Roadside Planting Flower Bonanza Garden Water Garden Water Wheel
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Harvest of Memories'
  • 'Immortality'
    a Reblooming Iris (blooms more than once)
  • 'Sugar Blues'
'Harvest of Memories', 'Immortality', 'Sugar Blues'
Tags:
#purple#white#sun#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#poisonous#full sun#blue#white flowers#purple flowers#many colors#showy#yellow flowers#blue flowers#variegated leaves#spring flowers#cpp#summer flowers#rhizomes#large flowers#summer bulbs#houseplants#cutting garden#spring interest#problem for cats#problem for dogs#ABH-B#ABH#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Harvest of Memories'
  • 'Immortality'
    a Reblooming Iris (blooms more than once)
  • 'Sugar Blues'
'Harvest of Memories', 'Immortality', 'Sugar Blues'
Tags:
#purple#white#sun#bulb#showy flowers#yellow#poisonous#full sun#blue#white flowers#purple flowers#many colors#showy#yellow flowers#blue flowers#variegated leaves#spring flowers#cpp#summer flowers#rhizomes#large flowers#summer bulbs#houseplants#cutting garden#spring interest#problem for cats#problem for dogs#ABH-B#ABH#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iris
    Species:
    germanica
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Yugoslavia
    Bulb Storage:
    Not necessary, but if desired, store rhizomes in peat at 35 degrees F (2C).
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • 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)
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    1-several flowers at the top of a naked stem, 6-parted with 3 outer, spreading or pendent "falls" and 3 inner, erect "standards", cultivars in various colors and patterns
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Strap-like, overlapping at base, oriented in one plane
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR, OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, elevated temperature following ingestion; skin irritation upon contact with seeds, rootstock, or cell sap.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Irisin, iridin, or irisine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds