Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Water Iris, Japanese Flag, Russian Iris
Iris ensata 'Katy Mendez'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: ensata (en-SA-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Katy Mendez
Hybridized by C. McEwen; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1988

» View all varieties of Iris

Japanese (JA)

24-36 in. (60-90 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:

Bloom Time:
Midseason (M)


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

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):
Honorable Mention

Click thumbnail
to view:

By CTYankeegirl
Thumbnail #1 of Iris ensata by CTYankeegirl

By CTYankeegirl
Thumbnail #2 of Iris ensata by CTYankeegirl


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CTYankeegirl On Jun 25, 2011, CTYankeegirl from Mystic, CT wrote:

This was my first Japanese Iris. I bought it not even knowing what kind of iris it was. It's grown beautifully in my front yard for over three years now. It gets tons of compliments from neighbors. I'd call it "care-free" as it does just fine with the rain we get and the sunny spot it's in. I might remember to water it if we've had a really dry summer, but it's been doing great on neglect, I'm sorry to say. It survives our bitter CT winters just fine.
After finding the plant marker it came with, I looked it up and discovered the beautiful world of Japanese Iris. I've now bought more varieties and hope to have as good of luck with them as I've had with this one. I love it! It is by far the prettiest flower in the front yard.

Neutral Joan On Jul 28, 2008, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: Honorable Mention 1991


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

Mystic, Connecticut

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