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Japanese Water Iris, Japanese Flag, Russian Iris 'Crested Surf'

Iris ensata

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: ensata (en-SA-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Crested Surf
Hybridized by Bauer-Coble
Registered or introduced: 2000
Synonym:Iris kaempferi
» View all varieties of Iris


Japanese (JA)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Medium Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Midseason (M)



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Aptos, California

Belleville, Michigan

Grosse Ile, Michigan

Southold, New York

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 25, 2011, Grammiposa from Aptos, CA wrote:

Someone gave me a tiny slip of the yellow variety of this plant. It took over our small pond in about two years. VERY hard to remove, since it had developed ENORMOUS tubers. The flowers are elegant and beautiful, but not prolific here (Central CA Coast with cool Summers). The leaves are nice looking, even in Winter.

We allowed a small clump to stay where it somehow planted itself in our much bigger pond; and it looks wonderful. So, my "neutral" experience rating means that I would have to say that my experience has been both negative and positive.


On Dec 22, 2008, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

CRESTED SURF Bauer/Coble Reg. 2000
40in M 6
White, blue veins, blue style arms.