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PlantFiles: Tall Bearded Iris
Iris 'Wabash'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Wabash
Hybridized by Williamson; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1936

» View all varieties of Iris

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.

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:
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):
Dykes Memorial Medal

Click thumbnail
to view:

By nearindy
Thumbnail #1 of Iris  by nearindy

By carolann
Thumbnail #2 of Iris  by carolann

By Wandasflowers
Thumbnail #3 of Iris  by Wandasflowers

By laurief
Thumbnail #4 of Iris  by laurief

Thumbnail #5 of Iris  by CHA

By laurief
Thumbnail #6 of Iris  by laurief

By Charlotteda
Thumbnail #7 of Iris  by Charlotteda

There are a total of 21 photos.
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10 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Irissimo On Jun 16, 2013, Irissimo from London/Kent
United Kingdom wrote:

Wabash bloomed for me this year.
I wish that the rhizomes would increase as much as they do in the warmer climes of the US .It has a beautiful bloom -nice colour and shape and is born on a strong straight stem .It's a wonderful historic Iris worthy of any garden .

Positive rubysage On Nov 11, 2010, rubysage from Colorado Springs, CO wrote:

I inherited my grandmother's iris garden-one with many heirloom varieties. This is one of my favorites.

Positive kellydz On Sep 3, 2010, kellydz from Richland, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I discovered this beauty growing in a corner bed of my new house. I had no idea what type it was before coming to DG and having several helpful members assist me in identifying my Wabash. Purple-based foliage is the key! I had to divide mine this summer because it was so huge that the middle was beginning to rot. Every division grew well. It also was spot-free when a newer hybrid planted 2 feet away got infected with iris leaf spot. Really beautiful plant.

Positive wakingdream On Jun 13, 2010, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

'Wabash' was given to me by a friend. His neighbor was going to throw it away, which is how he got it. It has a striking beauty in my iris patch, makes the eye vibrate. The depth of the purple color of the falls is unmatched. Blossoms seem to last a long time. The capacity to spread is better than most of the other bearded irises I grow.

While researching information, I found that there is another iris closely resembling 'Wabash', but it can be discounted for the lack of the purple shading at the base of the fans.

I hope to never be without this May blooming beauty.

Neutral 1913cat On Feb 10, 2010, 1913cat from Robertsville, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

HM 1937 AM 1938

Positive straea On Jun 13, 2009, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is the most amazingly vigorous historic bearded iris I've ever grown. In abandoned gardens in my city, it has taken over entire swaths of ground; some of the clumps are several square feet. In my own garden, it's grown from a very small rhizome to a 2 foot wide clump since I planted it 21 months ago. This spring was its best yet, sending up three bloom stalks loaded with its distinctive flowers. The only down side, to me, is that it's the only historic bearded iris I've yet had to stake in my windy garden, as its bloom stalks are so tall compared to the main clump that they have a tendency to flop to the side if even one flower is open on them. However, it is so beautiful that I am perfectly willing to make this small effort. It's no wonder it is one of the most popular irises of all-time!

Positive 305940 On May 10, 2009, 305940 from Covington, GA wrote:

Grows like crazy here! Early, Mid, and late season.
One of my favorites

Positive girlndocs On Mar 8, 2007, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

Received a piece of rhizome from a friend who said it was "a purple and white iris". Planted it in February and was pleasantly surprised with a tall bloom stalk that year (in partial shade). The flowers have a very pleasing crisp shape that the contrasting colors add too. It makes me smile.

Positive constance22 On Jun 8, 2006, constance22 from Brewster, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Grows like a weed here.

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

WABASH: 1936, TB, E. B. Williamson: I had some difficulty researching this in the AIS Database as copied and pasted here in quotes and parenthesis: "(AWARD)/1939TB @1936/WILLIAMSON, M/40"/WHT S; BLUE F BORDERED WHT TD1940; A1938C; H1937C" DM 1940)" I feel honored it was named the same as the city of Wabash, Indiana, Wabash County, Indiana and the fabled Wabash River flowing through the state. Strong growth and bloom habits. Great colors!

Neutral Joan On Dec 17, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: American Iris Society Dykes Medal 1940

Positive nearindy On Jan 19, 2004, nearindy from McCordsville, IN wrote:

Blooms better in partial shade than most. Small blooms by today's standards and historic, tailored form, but the vibrant colors make it stand out, even among modern cultivars. Recessive amoena, pod and pollen fertile.

Neutral carolann On Jun 11, 2003, carolann from Auburn, NH wrote:

Williamson 1936 - historic iris, white self with purple falls - falls have white edging, can grow to over 40"


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

, (4 reports)
Arbuckle, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Manchester, Connecticut
Gainesville, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Inwood, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
South China, Maine
Hagerstown, Maryland
Brewster, Massachusetts
Somerville, Massachusetts
Blanchard, Michigan
Richland, Michigan
Deer River, Minnesota
Alton, Missouri
Robertsville, Missouri
Shepherd, Montana
Elba, New York
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Lawton, Oklahoma
Gold Hill, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Pickens, South Carolina
Greeneville, Tennessee
Hixson, Tennessee
Readyville, Tennessee
Harker Heights, Texas
Hampton, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Alderwood Manor, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Tacoma, Washington

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