Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dwarf Crested Iris
Iris cristata 'Cristata Alba'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: cristata (kris-TAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cristata Alba
Additional cultivar information: (aka Alba)

Synonym:Iris cristata var. alba

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5 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Midseason (M)


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)

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
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive 13015 On Mar 28, 2004, 13015 from Cedar Springs, MI wrote:

Iris cristata is a US native.
I've grown I. cristata Alba and four color forms of I. cristata for many years with great success. The colors range from dark blue, light lilac, lavender and white with a lavender siqnal. It will take full morning sun here. Divide after blooming, mid May here, keep the fine roots damp at all times.
At one time students at Murphy State University, Tn. received plants of `Alba' from me for study. It is said to have been used by Native Americans to cure stomach problems. One of the few Iris to thrive in shade!

Neutral Terry On Sep 30, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Many thanks to Mr. Robert Pries, of SIGNA (Species Iris
Group of North America) and Keith Keppel of the AIS for their assistance in clarifying the particulars of this plant's botanical name. Mr. Pries writes:

"In the 1930's [current ICBN] code had not been well established and it wasn't until 1959 that the rules were really tightened. The cultivar name 'Cristata Alba' is one of those names that would no longer be accepted as a valid name, but because it was already in use before 1959, it is conserved today. It refers to any white Iris cristata and is the equivalent of the botanical name Iris cristata Ait. var. alba.

Although technically a cultivar does not have to be a clone,
most Iris enthusiasts expect them to be clonal. Essentially this cultivar name does not fit into the current horticultural expectations of an Iris cultivar...White cristatas are variable in size of flower, shape and size of crest, and color of crest from pale yellow to deep orange."


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

Marietta, Georgia
Cedar Springs, Michigan
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Houston, Texas

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