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Tall Bearded Iris 'Earl of Essex'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Earl of Essex
Hybridized by Zurbrigg
Registered or introduced: 1979
» View all varieties of Iris


Tall Bearded (TB)


24-36 in. (60-90 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:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Early (E)

Reblooming (Re)



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

, (2 reports)

New Market, Alabama

Happy Jack, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Apple Valley, California

Oroville East, California

Rohnert Park, California

Wichita, Kansas

Anacoco, Louisiana

Revere, Massachusetts

Galesburg, Michigan

Deer River, Minnesota

Alton, Missouri

Brunswick, Missouri

Elba, New York

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Palo Pinto, Texas (2 reports)

Mc Lean, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 7, 2010, gussie34 from Rohnert Park, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Rebloom in Oroville in ground. Rebloom in Rohnert Park in 12" container--10 stalks with 6 flowers each, first of them outside in October and November 2009, the rest in house in December at SE-facing window!


On Feb 1, 2010, mcgerm from Galesburg, MI wrote:

Reblooms in Michigan. Not a minor feat.


On Jun 27, 2008, grannymarsh from Marquette, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Easy to grow. Outstanding in a clump !


On Dec 21, 2003, txgimgim from Palo Pinto, TX wrote:

This iris has consistently rebloomed for me. I have shared it's increase and added it to many more spots in my garden and like the energizer bunny, it just keeps on going.


On Nov 8, 2002, avmoran from Pylesville, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

This Plicata increases reliably and with several blooms per stalk it is a welcome addition to any garden. Reblooming in late fall gives a surprising added color to the fall folage.