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PlantFiles: Japanese Roof Iris, Root Iris, Wall Iris
Iris tectorum

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Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: tectorum (tek-TOR-um) (Info)

» View all varieties of Iris

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Class:
Species

Height:
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:
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
Sun to Partial Shade

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

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue
Blue-Violet
Violet/Lavender
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)

Foliage:
Herbaceous

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:
Non-patented

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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Profile:

7 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive kdmclynn On Apr 3, 2012, kdmclynn from Washington, DC wrote:

Planted our very first green, as in vegetated, roof over our sunroom back in the fall of 2008. Planted the usual sedums , but also planted a swath of tectorum, Roof Irises, including a few Iris tectorum 'Jimmy Stewart,' a white flowered cultivar. A 'Jimmy Stewart' iris was the very first to bloom that very first spring in 2009, followed by many more blooms. The irises have continued to thrive and we divided the clumps in the fall of 2011.

The sedums are doing fine but the Irises create a stunning green roof garden, blooming and spreading, even with just 5" of growing material. If we can have a successful green roof, anyone can. Highly recommend including this iris in your green roof planting.

Positive Mizfolia On Sep 3, 2011, Mizfolia from Camrose
Canada wrote:

I have had great success growing " roof iris", I grew it from seed ( from
Gardensnorth ) and I've moved it twice, the first place I had it was far too hot and dry, but now it's in partial shade and the foliage and flowers are wonderful.
Mine are the blue, and one day soon I'd love to get a couple of the white, or the seeds for it. The foliage is beautiful, and I'd enjoy this plant even if it never flowered. ( I'm in zone 3 - 3b?? and this iris takes all of our weather, heat and cold, in it's stride ) I'm in central-south Alberta, Canada.

Positive judyk On May 29, 2010, judyk from W Hartford, CT wrote:

My favorite pass-along plant. Grows in sun or shade. Only care needed is to cut back old foliage in spring -- here in zone 5 the foliage persists thru the winter, unlike standard iris, which dies back and sprouts cleanly in spring. My variety is white and its blossoms remind me of the flying nun. Foliage is similar to standard iris but more graceful. Love it!

Positive LiliMerci On Apr 25, 2009, LiliMerci from North of Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

They will bloom in the shade or sun, but the only iris I know of that blooms in the shade.

Positive rainbeau On Nov 25, 2004, rainbeau from Connersville, IN wrote:

PLANT THRIVES IN INDIANA CLIMATE. NEEDS LITTLE OR NO FEEDING. SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE WORK FINE.
SEEDS PRODUCE SECOND YEAR BLOOM IN SLIGHT VARIATIONS OF SHADES OF LAVENDER WITH OCCASIONAL WHITE. PODS PRODUCE LARGE QUANTITIES OF SEED.
NICE PLANT FOR THE NATURALIZED ROCK GARDEN. FOLIAGE STAYS NICE AND GREEN FOR THE SUMMER BUT TENDS TO BE A LITTLE FLOPPIER THAN MANY OF THE SPECIES IRIS.

Positive docturf On Oct 12, 2003, docturf from Conway, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

The Japanese Roof Iris does very well in coastal South Carolina and provides an interesting "topic" plant. Mine was planted in 1990 and has thrived ever since with very little care and only 2 fertilizations during that period of time.

Positive Terry On Oct 11, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Roof Iris or Root Iris? Or is it a Wall Iris?

It IS grown on thatch roofs in Japan, hence its most common vernacular name. Some sources suggest that when space became too precious for anything but food crops, Japanese women - who used the powdered rhizomes as a face powder - began growing Iris tectorum on their thatch roofs. Other legends indicate it was used to ward off evil spirits; or perhaps it was for purely pragmatic reasons (to help hold the thatch together.)

"Root Iris" is less-often used, and possibly the result of a misinterpretation of "Roof".

"Wall Iris" is its third common name, and it's suggested for planting near a wall (it will take more shade than many other Iris species.)

No matter what you call it, the pleated leaves and pretty blooms make it well-worth growing in your garden (or thatch roof!)

Regional...

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

Huntsville, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Los Angeles, California
Stockton, California
Washington, District Of Columbia
Gainesville, Florida
Fayetteville, Georgia
Norcross, Georgia
Calvert City, Kentucky
Belleville, Michigan
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Bluffton, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Hartsville, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin



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