Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Iris, Dalmation Iris
Iris pallida

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: pallida (PAL-lid-duh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Iris

29 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

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By paani
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There are a total of 19 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sladeofsky On Feb 28, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the scent. This very old variety can be hard to find in the US, but in Europe it is farmed for an essential oil used in perfumes. Old House Gardens usually offers it when they have enough stock.

Positive themikeman On Jun 30, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Old fashioned sweet iris {Iris pallida} is the most prized plant and iris in my garden, now a days this heirloom variety, the non-varigated form with the beautiful solid silvery leaves and grape laundry detergent smell is becoming so hard to find, it hasnt been widely available in catalogs since late 60's, but i understand is still being marketed now under Princess Beautrice..most of the ones i have were here long before i moved in to this small old brick NC farm house way out in the country side from early 1900's..i have a whole hillside of ones almost 4' tall!! 100's rhizomes that hadnt been seperated probably 40 years and were so neglected till i moved in and finally seperated, em 3 years ago...they now spead like wild fire!!!!!!! i drool i wish they bloomed all year!! Update 4/9/2011 their is a slight difference between the original iris pallida dalmatica and iris pallida var:princess beatrice..although almost identical in everyway, 'princess beatrice' has a flaring of the falls and lower part of the beard.

Positive maccionoadha On May 18, 2008, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We've had this Iris growing in our gardens for years. It's scent reminds me of a grape lollipop. It's slow to spread.

Positive Charlotteda On May 8, 2005, Charlotteda from Pickens, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

These iris should not be overlooked. Mine are tall and really pretty, the smell is also neat.

Positive paani On May 6, 2005, paani from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a species iris. It has a distinctive scent that many people say is like grape soda.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, Alabama
Malvern, Arkansas
Canoga Park, California
Lafayette, California
Malibu, California
San Jose, California
Washington, District Of Columbia
Norcross, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Macy, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Mc Gregor, Iowa
Nichols, Iowa
Paris, Kentucky
South Paris, Maine
Brewster, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Deer River, Minnesota
Piedmont, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
South Sioux City, Nebraska
Cicero, New York
Kingston, New York
Concord, North Carolina (2 reports)
Granite Falls, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Blodgett, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Turner, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Pickens, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Bellevue, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Sandyville, West Virginia

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