Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Miniature Dwarf Bearded Iris
Iris 'Alpine Lake'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Alpine Lake
Hybridized by Willott; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1980

» View all varieties of Iris

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 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:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Midseason (M)
Late Midseason (MLa)
Late (La)


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

Awards (if applicable):
Honorable Mention
Award of Merit
Caparne-Welch Medal (MDB)

Click thumbnail
to view:

By joescaper
Thumbnail #1 of Iris  by joescaper

By laurief
Thumbnail #2 of Iris  by laurief

By laurief
Thumbnail #3 of Iris  by laurief

By laurief
Thumbnail #4 of Iris  by laurief

By Joan
Thumbnail #5 of Iris  by Joan

Thumbnail #6 of Iris  by TBGDN

By avmoran
Thumbnail #7 of Iris  by avmoran

There are a total of 8 photos.
Click here to view them all!


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TBGDN On Apr 22, 2006, TBGDN from Macy, IN wrote:

This is my first year with MDB's, and I am finding some nice surprises with these, the smallest of irises. First I find them to be very hardy, having endured their first winter at their new home away from Oregon. I also noticed their willingness to bloom after less than 10 months in the soil! Alpine Lake bloomed today with four open flowers! That is remarkable, since I sometimes wait two years for a new TB to bloom. The following is from the American Iris Society's Checklist data base: (A. & D. Willott, R. 1980). Sdlg. 78-51. MDB 6" 115 cm) M-L. "S. white, slightly tinged blue; F. light blue (RHS 104D); pale blue beard. 74-46: (Carousel Princess x Gunga Din) X Greenlee GX-11., Willott 1981."

Neutral Joan On Dec 18, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: American Iris Society Honorable Mention '83, Award of Merit '86, Caparne-Welch Medal '89

Positive laurief On Oct 21, 2005, laurief from Deer River, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

Most miniature dwarf beardeds (MDBs) do quite well in my growing conditions. This northern MN zone 3b climate inflicts severe, extended cold during the winter months, often with little snow cover for insulation. The summer growing season is short with temps that sometimes exceed 90 degrees F. My soil is very heavy, compacted clay with a slightly acid pH, though I grow my irises in well-amended, raised beds or windrows with improved friability and drainage. A large local deer population frequently tramples and sometimes grazes on my irises in early spring and late fall. Iris borers are present but managed successfully with a granular systemic grub control product. Weeds are abundant and only occasionally beaten back by an admittedly lazy gardener (yours truly). Fertilization is inconsistent, when provided at all. Different beds range from full sun to barely 5-6 hrs of sun a day.

ALPINE LAKE is a beautiful little flower, abundant bloomer, and prolific increaser. My flowers, however, tend to color break heavily. I have yet to determine whether the color breaking (which I personally find very attractive) is a result of mosaic virus or simply a reaction to the numerous late freezes to which the MDBs are always subjected in my garden. Regardless, I highly recommend this cultivar.



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

Perryville, Arkansas
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Macy, Indiana
Durham, Maine
Deer River, Minnesota
Coshocton, Ohio

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