Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tall Bearded Iris
Iris 'Beverly Sills'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Beverly Sills
Hybridized by Hager; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1978

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One vendor has this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tall Bearded (TB)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 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:

Bloom Time:
Midseason (M)


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
Dykes Memorial Medal

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There are a total of 25 photos.
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7 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative disterheft On May 5, 2013, disterheft from Columbia, SC wrote:

Like Homefire, I'm not so impressed with this one. Doesn't bloom every year here in central South Carolina and doesn't have the personality of a Happenstance or Hurricane Lamp. In my garden, VERY short for a TB.

Positive Mego27 On Apr 19, 2012, Mego27 from Louisville, KY wrote:

Simply gorgeous pink iris. It also has a heavenly fragrance.
A friend gave my a rhizome of this a couple of years ago and I am grateful to her everytime I see this lovely iris!

Positive hinshawbaker On May 2, 2011, hinshawbaker from Liberty, NC wrote:

I live in central NC, and purchased this Iris in late spring/early summer of last year (2010). When I bought it, it was ONE plant in a 6" pot. It looked very healthy, but was not a huge plant at all. I bought it because I had never seen a pink Iris. I put it in the ground & kept it watered through the heat of the summer. What amazed me about this Iris is that in spite of the fact that it was obviously a young plant, newly planted, it started to multiply within a very short time. By the time spring arrived, it had multiplied to six fans! I really didn't expect any more suprises from this plant....but low and behold it sent up 3 full sized bloom stalks, loaded with buds. The buds started to show color very recently. I was delighted this morning when I went out on the porch with my morning coffee to discover that I had the first 3 blooms open! They are absolutely gorgeous. As far as growing conditions here: I have heavy red clay soil. The only ammendment that I really did was to break up the soil really well with a roto tiller when the bed was established, and added LOTS of peat moss. The plant has not been fertilized yet at all. It gets full sun from mid day until the sun goes down and is on the western end of my house. If this performance continues, I can see it becoming a BIG favorite of mine.

Positive DaLoveRat On Jan 20, 2009, DaLoveRat from Blanchard, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

One of the best growers here, nice flowers its no wonder its one of the all time favorites.

Negative Homefire On Aug 30, 2007, Homefire from Portsmouth, VA wrote:

I hate to go against the rest, but Beverly Sills does nothing in my garden in Coastal Virginia. I grew it for 3 years and it was always small and plain. Was never impressed as others have been. I finally gave up on it. It was always prone to get leaf spot also. Blah flower!!!

Neutral Joan On May 22, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: Honorable Mention 1981; Award of Merit 1983; Dyke's Medal 1987

Positive RobertWM On Oct 8, 2006, RobertWM from Clawson, MI wrote:

Lovely smooth creamy coral pink flowers which give a very pink effect in the garden, with a beard just slightly darker pink.Attractive modern flared, slightly ruffled form. Good growth and sturdy stalks. It has the added advantage of performing well in only a maximum of three hours of sun a day. Most iris require much more. An "oldie but goodie" that I would never want to be without.

Neutral Margiempv On Mar 14, 2006, Margiempv from Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

It's a lovely iris, but has a hard time keeping itself going - - year after year! (at least here in Southern Arizona) It does well if it's pampered and given LOTS of extra feedings.

Positive TBGDN On Feb 17, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This gorgeous iris has one of my favorites (Vanity) as one of its parents, so no wonder it looks and grows so well. An accurate description from me would include 'pink work of art' or 'natural beauty at its best'! A very worthwhile iris! All garden factors here are positive, including growth, bloom and hardiness.

Neutral laurief On Oct 23, 2005, laurief from Deer River, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

Very few tall beardeds (TBs) can survive 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. Most TBs here are growing with less than 6 hrs of direct sun per day, so growth and bloom are not what they could be under full sun conditions. I have lost hundreds of weaker TB cultivars over the years, so the few that have managed to survive are worthy of high praise ... particularly those that have survived one or more "killer" winters with frigid temps and virtually no insulating snow cover.

It took BEVERLY SILLS five years to show me her first bloom which appeared in '04 as one measly, distorted flower on a stunted stalk. This year, '05, Bev finally came into her own and displayed multiple, full-height stalks with perfect flowers on every clump. The jury's still out on this cultivar in my garden, but if this year's performance is repeated reliably in years to come, I'll forgive her very slow start and treasure her presence in my iris beds.


Positive llebpmac_bob On Jun 30, 2004, llebpmac_bob from Zephyr
Canada wrote:

Looks particularly striking when planted in combination with a black iris like Superstition. I should know, I've got them in combination in my garden.

Positive violabird On Apr 19, 2003, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

She sings in my garden, love the orange tongue!


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

Cottonwood, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Arbuckle, California
Yosemite Lakes, California
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Barnesville, Georgia
Nicholson, Georgia
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Oskaloosa, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Anacoco, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Hagerstown, Maryland
Preston, Maryland
Worcester, Massachusetts
Blanchard, Michigan
Clawson, Michigan
Deer River, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Kirksville, Missouri
Robertsville, Missouri
Weatherby, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Auburn, New Hampshire
Rye, New Hampshire
Corrales, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Bronx, New York
Elba, New York
Southold, New York
Albemarle, North Carolina
Liberty, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Milan, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Lawton, Oklahoma
Dallas, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Greeneville, Tennessee
Midland, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Blacksburg, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
Pullman, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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