Japanese Water Iris, Japanese Flag, Russian Iris
Iris ensata 'Variegata'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: ensata (en-SA-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata
Synonym:Iris kaempferi
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Class:

Japanese (JA)

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Blue-Violet

Purple

Bloom Time:

Late Midseason (MLa)

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Variegated

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Dracut, Massachusetts

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Southold, New York

Canby, Oregon

Okatie, South Carolina

Mc Lean, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Dec 5, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

We've been growing this more for the foliage than for the flowers with their short season. The white-variegated leaves have a silvery effect when viewed from a distance, and though they green up somewhat as they age, they still show some silver as frost approaches. Unlike siberian iris, whose foliage splays open untidily as the summer wears on, Iris ensata foliage remains upright throughout the season.

Plants perform well in well-drained acid border soil and not just in water/bog gardens.

According to Armitage, this is hardy to Z4.

Positive

On Jan 29, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm tempted to give away all my plain yellow and purple water iris, and start over with the variegated types - they have so much more interesting foliage when they're not in bloom (which is the majority of the time!)