Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Miniature Tall Bearded Iris
Iris 'Smarty Pants'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Smarty Pants
Hybridized by A. White; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1949

» View all varieties of Iris

Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB)


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

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)


Other details:
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):
Unknown - Tell us

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By hespiris
Thumbnail #1 of Iris  by hespiris

By hespiris
Thumbnail #2 of Iris  by hespiris


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hespiris On Nov 25, 2008, hespiris from Kingston, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Smarty Pants was hybridized by Alice White in 1949. The class was noted as LBB* which is the only one I have seen with this classification. This is possibly the beginning of the BB/MTB era and as such, appears a bit large and course for a MTB of the 21st century.

It is one of the few I had removed from my MTB bed and put with medians from the pre-1980 era. It fits with the bloom style of Marquita (Cayeux 1931) but its colors white and deep rose would have clashed. So it is a bit of an oddball, like Jungle Shadows, that may take a bit of moving to get in the right spot in your garden. But for me, it is worth the effort to see how the irises have changed over the decades.

Edited to add new info.
*LBB as defined in the 1949 Check List: Low Border Bearded (formerly DB). Not to be confused with the modern BB, which is one of our newer iris classes.

Alice White is the 'White' of the MTB top garden awards: The Williams-White Award (awarded through 1992) and the current Williams-White Medal which was first awarded in 1993.


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

Wichita, Kansas
Kingston, New York
Dublin, Ohio

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