Bearded Iris (Iris Germanica)

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Bearded iris (Iris germanica) is one of the most popular and classic garden plants, loved for its wide range of colors and fragrances. It belongs to the iris family (Iridaceae) and is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It grows from rhizomes, which are modified underground stems that spread horizontally in the soil. The name “bearded” comes from the fuzzy “beards” on the lower petals of the flowers, which are called falls.

Botanical Name
Iris germanica
Family
Iridaceae
Plant Type
Herbaceous perennial
Height
1. Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB): Up to 8 inches tall.
2. Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB): Ranging from 8 to 16 inches.
3. Intermediate Bearded (IB): 16 to 27.5 inches.
4. Border Bearded (BB): Similar height to intermediates.
5. Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB): 16 to 27.5 inches.
6. Tall Bearded (TB): 27.5 inches and above.
Flower Colors
Including red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, brown, white, and pink. Bicolor varieties are also common.
Blooming Season
Early to mid-spring.
Foliage
Flattened, sword-like leaves.
Sun Exposure
Full sun is essential for healthy growth.
Soil
Prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0 to 7.0).
Hardiness Zones
3–9 (USDA).
Toxicity
Toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Boast upright petals are called “standards” and cascading petals are called “falls.” The falls have a hairy texture, giving the flower its distinctive “bearded” appearance.
  • Propagation by dividing rhizomes every 3-5 years to maintain vigor and create new plants.
  • Grow from rhizomes (underground stems) and are characterized by the fuzzy “beards” on the lower petals (falls) of their blossoms.
  • Generally not invasive, as it does not spread aggressively by seed or rhizome.
  • Prized for their stunning, three-dimensional flowers, making them ideal for flower arrangements.
  • Contribute to garden biodiversity and attract pollinators.
  • Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, where it grows in dry, rocky, or sandy habitats.
  • Generally resistant to most pests and diseases, but you need to watch for Iris borer and Iris leaf spot.

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