Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tall Bearded Iris
Iris 'Polar King'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Polar King
Hybridized by Donahue; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1939

» View all varieties of Iris

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

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)

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:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)
Reblooming (Re)


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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Wandasflowers
Thumbnail #1 of Iris  by Wandasflowers

By Joan
Thumbnail #2 of Iris  by Joan


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive burden On Aug 24, 2003, burden from Greenville, RI wrote:

Polar King is a white reblooming (reliably blooms spring and fall) tall bearded iris hybridized and introduced by the noted plantsman Thomas F. Donahue of Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts. It was first shown at the fall flower show of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in October of 1931 where it created much excitement and won numerous awards. Polar King was officially introduced in 1939 and was registered with the American Iris Society.It is a floriferous, vigorous grower with healthy foliage and generous increase. In New England it reliably reblooms starting in mid to late September through October, or until cut down by heavy frost, provided it receives fertilizer (5-10-10 or something low in nitrogen is good - superphosphate also works well) right after it's spring bloom, which in New England comes in late May and early June. The flowers are fragrant. While fragrance can be subjectice, I have most often heard the comment that it "smells like vanilla"...pleasant in any case. The form of the flower is somewhat old-fashioned with narrower falls than the current hybrids, but it is of good size and appeals to those of us drawn more to the simple "species look" in our gardens. As with all bearded irises (and siberian irises) in New England, the iris borer can be a pest. However, because of its vigor, Polar King has outgrown any damage.


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

Greenville, Rhode Island

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