Iris

Iris is the largest genus in the Iridaceae family. It contains more than 300 species and many hybrids and cultivars. It's useful to become familiar with the groups or subgenus divisions, as this helps to sort out similar species, an aid when approaching their cultivation.

The topic of the week for March 2004 was Iris. The Introduction was supplied by Robert Pries. He also prepared an Iris Summary summarizing the proposed changes in how this genus could be divided in the future.

The Iris flower has three fold symmetry. The lower sepals are called 'falls' and provide an attractive landing pad for pollinators (bees). To get at the nectar they must push up the 'style arm' and as they do this pollen on them is removed by the 'stigmatic lip' pollinating the flower. New pollen is then applied from the stamen and as the insect backs out the structure of the lip ensures the new pollen is not removed. Captioned photographs by David Pilling of Iris sibirica.

Iris sibirica, David PillingIris sibirica, David PillingIris sibirica, David PillingIris sibirica, David PillingIris sibirica with pollinator, David Pilling

In Greek mythology, Iris was goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods.

Three genera that were formerly separated from Iris are now included in the genus: Belamcanda, Hermodactylus, and Pardanthopsis.

Iris dichotoma, syn. Pardanthopsis dichotoma, Jim McKenneyIris domestica, syn. Belamcanda chinensis, Jay YourchIris tuberosa, syn. Hermodactylus tuberosus, UC Botanical Garden

Bulbous irises with wiki pages are Juno Irises, Reticulata Irises, and Spanish Irises. Hybrids of Spanish Irises are called Dutch Irises and are pictured on the Spanish Irises page.

Iris cycloglossa, Juno iris, Bill DijkIris willmottiana alba, Juno iris, Mark McDonoughIris reticulata 'Lovely Liza',  reticulata iris,  Mark MazerIris winogradowii, reticulata iris,  John LonsdaleIris xiphium var. lusitanica, Spanish Iris, Celestino GelpiIris filifolia, Spanish Iris, José Miguel Paneque

Irises with rhizomes that have wiki pages are Aril Irises, Beardless iris A-K - Beardless iris L-R - Beardless iris S-Z - Crested Irises, Garden Bearded Irises, and Pacific Coast Irises.

Iris iberica ssp. elegantissima, Aril Iris, John LonsdaleIris orientalis, Beardless Iris, Angelo PorcelliIris unguicularis, Beardless Iris, Nhu NguyenIris tectorum, Crested Iris, Jana UlmerIris kochii, Garden Bearded Iris, Angelo PorcelliIris purdyi, Pacific Coast Iris, Mary Sue Ittner

Miscellaneous Irises includes species that are not listed on one of the other pages.

Iris decora, David Nicholson

Click on the name in the table below to find more information and/or to see photographs of the named species or cultivar.

Iris species
Iris acutiloba, Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
acutiloba
Iris anguifuga, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
anguifuga
Iris atropurpurea, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
atropurpurea
Iris attica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
attica
Iris aucheri, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
aucheri
Iris bakeriana, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bakeriana
Iris barbatula, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
barbatula
Iris bicapitata, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bicapitata
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
boissieri
Iris bracteata, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bracteata
Iris brevicaulis, Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
brevicaulis
Iris bucharica bicolored form, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bucharica
Iris caucasica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
caucasica
Iris chrysophylla, Paige Woodward [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
chrysophylla
Iris collettii, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
collettii
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
confusa
Iris cristata 'Powder Blue Giant', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cristata
Iris cycloglossa, Bill Dijk [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cycloglossa
Iris danfordiae, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
danfordiae
Iris decora, David Nicholson [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
decora
Iris dolichosiphon subsp orientalis, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
dolichosiphon
Iris douglasiana, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
douglasiana
Iris ensata 'Variegata', Jay Yourch [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ensata
Iris fernaldii, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
fernaldii
Iris filifolia, José Miguel Paneque [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
filifolia
Iris foetidissima, David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
foetidissima
Iris fosteriana, Peter Taggart [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
fosteriana
Iris galatica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
galatica
Iris gatesii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
gatesii
Iris germanica, Janos Agoston [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
germanica
Iris gracilipes alba, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
gracilipes
Iris graeberiana (syn. Iris zenaidae), Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
graeberiana
Iris graminea, Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
graminea
Iris halophila seed, David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
halophila
Iris hartwegii australis, Michael Mace [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hartwegii
Iris henryi, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
henryi
Iris histrio, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
histrio
Iris histrioides var. sophenensis, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
histrioides
Iris hoogiana, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hoogiana
Iris hookeri seed, David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hookeri
Iris humilis, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
humilis
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hyrcana
Iris iberica ssp. elegantissima, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
iberica
Iris inconspicua × Iris kuschakewiczii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
inconspicua
Iris innominata grown from seed, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
innominata
Iris japonica, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
japonica
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
juncea
Iris kirkwoodii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kirkwoodii
Iris kochii, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kochii
Iris kolpakowskiana, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kolpakowskiana
Iris koreana, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
koreana
Iris korolkowii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
korolkowii
Iris kuschakewiczii, Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kuschakewiczii
Iris lactea, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lactea
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lacustris
Iris laevigata 'Alboviolacea', Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
laevigata
Iris latifolia, photo by Wikipedia contributor Dinkum [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
latifolia
Iris lazica, Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lazica
Iris lusitanica bulbs, Peter Taggart [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lusitanica
Iris lutescens, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lutescens
Iris macrosiphon, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
macrosiphon
Iris magnifica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
magnifica
Iris mandschurica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
mandschurica
Iris minutoaurea, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
minutoaurea
Iris missouriensis, Jim Duggan [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
missouriensis
Iris munzii, Tulare County, Mary Gerritsen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
munzii
Iris narbutii hybrid, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
narbutii
Iris odaesanensis, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
odaesanensis
Iris orchioides, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
orchioides
Iris orientalis, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
orientalis
Iris palaestina, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
palaestina
Iris pallida, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pallida
Iris pamphylica, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pamphylica
Iris paradoxa forma paradoxa, Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
paradoxa
Iris persica, Peter Taggart [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
persica
Iris planifolia, Rob Hamilton [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
planifolia
Iris pseudacorus, May 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pseudacorus
Iris pseudopumila, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pseudopumila
Iris pumila, Janos Agoston [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pumila
Iris purdyi, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
purdyi
Iris reichenbachii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reichenbachii
Iris reticulata, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata
Iris rosenbachiana, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rosenbachiana
Iris ruthenica, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ruthenica
Iris sari, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sari
Iris schachtii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
schachtii
Iris serotina, Rafa Díez Domínguez [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
serotina
Iris setosa, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
setosa
Iris sibirica, Hans Joschko [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sibirica
Iris sichuanensis, Alessandro Marinello [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sichuanensis
Iris sicula, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sicula
Iris sintenisii ssp. brandzae, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sintenisii
Iris speculatrix, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
speculatrix
Iris spuria hybrid, Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
spuria
Iris stenophylla, Rob Hamilton [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
stenophylla
Iris stolonifera, Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
stolonifera
Iris suaveolens, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
suaveolens
Iris tectorum, Jana Ulmer [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tectorum
Iris tenax, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tenax
Iris tenuis, Paige Woodward [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tenuis
Iris tigridia, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tigridia
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tingitana
Iris tubergeniana, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tubergeniana
Iris unguicularis, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
unguicularis
Iris verna, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
verna
Iris vicaria, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
vicaria
Iris virginica var. shrevei, Lee Poulsen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
virginica
Iris warleyensis, Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
warleyensis
Iris wattii, UC Botanical Garden, Kelley Macdonald [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
wattii
Iris willmottiana, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
willmottiana
Iris winogradowii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
winogradowii
Iris xiphium, Celestino Gelpi [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
xiphium
Iris zaprjagajewii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
zaprjagajewii



There are many selections and hybrids, likely more named varieties than species. Here is a sampling of them:


Iris selections and hybrids
Iris × albicans, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
× albicans
Iris 'Bronze Beauty', Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Bronze Beauty'
Iris bucharica 'Duschanbe', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bucharica 'Duschanbe'
Iris bucharica 'Princess', Paige Woodward [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bucharica 'Princess'
Iris 'Dardanus', Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Dardanus'
Iris ensata 'Variegata', Jay Yourch [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ensata 'Variegata'
Iris × flavescens, Dennis Kramb [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
× flavescens
Iris germanica 'Wabash', May 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
germanica 'Wabash'
Iris 'George', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'George'
Iris graeberiana, Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
graeberiana 'White Fall'
Iris 'Harmony', Jay Yourch [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Harmony'
Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Katherine Hodgkin'
Iris 'Bronze Beauty', Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
× hollandica
Iris 'Lady Beatrice Stanley', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Lady Beatrice Stanley'
Iris laevigata 'Alboviolacea', Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
laevigata 'Alboviolacea'
Iris laevigata 'Variegata', Nestor White [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
laevigata 'Variegata'
Iris magnifica 'Agalik', Paige Woodward [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
magnifica 'Agalik'
Iris macrosiphon 'Mt. Madonna', Jennifer Hildebrand [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
macrosiphon 'Mt. Madonna'
Iris 'Nada', Dennis Szeszko [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Nada'
Iris narbutii 'Kara Kaga', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
narbutii 'Kara Kaga'
Iris 'Oriental Beauty', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Oriental Beauty'
Iris pallida 'Aureovariegata', Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pallida 'Aureovariegata'
Iris reticulata 'Alba', Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Alba'
Iris reticulata 'Alida', 13th February 2014, David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Alida'
Iris reticulata 'Armenia', Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Armenia'
Iris reticulata 'Halkins', Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Halkins'
Iris reticulata 'Kuh-e-Abr', Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Kuh-e-Abr'
Iris reticulata 'Lovely Liza', Mark Mazer [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
reticulata 'Lovely Liza'
Iris rosenbachiana 'Harangon', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rosenbachiana 'Harangon'
Iris rosenbachiana 'Tovil Dara', Bob Nold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rosenbachiana 'Tovil Dara'
Iris rosenbachiana 'Varzob', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rosenbachiana 'Varzob'
Iris 'Sapphire Beauty', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Sapphire Beauty'
Iris 'Sheila Ann Germaney', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Sheila Ann Germaney'
Iris 'Sindpers', Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Sindpers'
Iris unguicularis 'Starkers Pink', Rob Hamilton [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
unguicularis 'Starkers Pink'
Iris virginica 'Contraband Girl', Jay Yourch [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
virginica 'Contraband Girl'
Iris willmottiana 'Alba', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
willmottiana 'Alba'

To see more Iris pictures go to the SIGNA species database. You can also get more information on Aril irises from the Aril Society International. The American Iris Society has created an Iris encyclopedia with information and photos.


Beardless iris A-K - Beardless iris L-R - Beardless iris S-Z - Crested Irises - Garden Bearded Irises - Juno iris A-I - Juno iris J-R - Juno iris S-Z - Aril Irises - Miscellaneous Irises - Pacific Coast Irises - Reticulata Irises - Spanish Irises - Belamcanda - Hermodactylus - Pardanthopsis


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Page last modified on June 21, 2015, at 06:49 AM