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PlantFiles: Grass-leaved Flag, Fleur-de-lis, Sword Lily, Plum Scented Iris
Iris graminea

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: graminea (gram-IN-ee-a) (Info)

» View all varieties of Iris

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)


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:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

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By boojum
Thumbnail #1 of Iris graminea by boojum

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Thumbnail #2 of Iris graminea by Todd_Boland

By arsenic
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive SunnyBorders On Jun 9, 2009, SunnyBorders from Aurora, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

Beautiful little plant. Quite hardy and vigorous here (zone 5a). Flowers placed a bit low among leaves.

Positive altagardener On Feb 28, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

Hardy in zone 3; also called "plum-scented iris".

Neutral bluespiral On Jan 25, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species can be germinated from seed, so am sharing some researched germination methods from 2 very credible sources, the better to get an overall feeling for what would work:

1) Tom Cothier's Website:

a) "Impervious seed coats. Shake in dry sand or nick carefully with a file.

b) "Sow at 18*C - 22*C (64*F - 71*F) for 2 - 4 weeks, move to -4*C to +4*C (24*F - 39*F) for 4 - 6 weeks, then move to 5*C - 12*C (41*C - 53*C) for germination."

2) from: Ontario Rock Garden Society website:

a) As in Clothier #1a - "Requires scarification. Nick or rub between sheets of sandpaper."

b) "Requires soaking. Place in warm water until seeds swell, usually 24 - 48 hours."

c) i) "prechill 4 weeks, or

ii) expose to fluctuating outdoor winter temperatures including freezing for 3 months.

d) Gradually increase light and temperature in spring, [which can be done by bringing] indoors once germinated to avoid temperature shock.

e) Transplant at 4 leaves."

In #2, the Ontario Rock Garden Society also offers another germination method which is similar to Clothier's method in #1 and may be best for fresh seed. Personally, I'm inclined to go with the technique that involves prechilling since my seeds are not fresh.

Positive boojum On Oct 9, 2004, boojum from Shelburne Falls, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a delicate, multicolored, fragrant flower which I look forward to every year. Foliage and size are unusual. There is nothing as lovely as one blossom and a leaf or two in a small ikebana vase. Although it is rated for zone 6-9, it has grown well for me at 2 locations in zone 5. Likes mulch.


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

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
Sherwood, Oregon

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