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Japanese Water Iris, Japanese Flag, Russian Iris 'Sensation'

Iris ensata

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: ensata (en-SA-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Sensation
Synonym:Iris kaempferi
» View all varieties of Iris


Japanese (JA)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Midseason (MLa)

Reblooming (Re)




This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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):

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 24, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
Have and grown Japanese iris both in and around the pond and waterfountain. The plants blooms a very large flat dinner plate sized bloom. The foliage is upright sword shaped leaf with a midrib. The plant dies back in the winter and returns in the Spring. The flowers bloom in mid to late Summer. They prefer moist soil, will grown in pots in the pond submerged halfway up the pot. Propagation is mostly by division in late summer, but can be grown from the seeds in the mature bloom pods. Plants must be kept moist, they prefer to grown and bloom in wet sunny location.


On Jan 23, 2004, Starzz from Newcastle, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

A stunning bloom..very beautiful.