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PlantFiles: Wild Iris, Northern Flag, Beachhead Iris
Iris setosa 'Alba'

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Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: setosa (set-OH-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba

Synonym:Iris setosa var. alba

» View all varieties of Iris

Class:
Species

Height:
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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

Hardiness:
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
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Midseason (MLa)

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Smooth-Textured

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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

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

Awards (if applicable):
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #1 of Iris setosa by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #2 of Iris setosa by Weezingreens

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #3 of Iris setosa by Todd_Boland

By Grasmussen
Thumbnail #4 of Iris setosa by Grasmussen

By Cyprepedium
Thumbnail #5 of Iris setosa by Cyprepedium

Profile:

2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Cyprepedium On May 29, 2010, Cyprepedium from Palmer, MA wrote:

May 29, 2010---Four years ago, when I began my garden here in Palmer, MA (01069), I had intended to include in it both wild and cultivated flowers. I planted some Iris versicolor (Blue Flagge) that I found struggling in a shaded part of my property. By the second year, it had really taken off, and I was able to separate it and distribute it in other places in the yard (I'm partial to this flower, especially in the context of its historical connection to the French fleur-de-lys). My success with it prompted me to look at other wild irises. My interest turned to the Wild White Iris, Iris setosa.

Last year (spring of 2009) I found someone in my immediate area who had a relative who had a fairly large patch of I. setosa. A small clump that included three flowers found its way to my garden.

This year, the small clump has spread out, and has produced about 18 stems with blooms! The delicate white blooms against the dark green leaves makes it a great addition to the garden. I'm not concerned about it getting "out-of-control." I've placed it where it can roam as it will to make a nice annual showing.

With the addition of a small clump of Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flagge) that I transplanted in early April (I will eventually leave a comment about this I. pseudacorus separately), I now have a fine representative triumverate of wild irises.

Please see the photo of I. setosa that I added.

Update, June 8, 2010: A week ago today I was out in Southampton, MA (01073) where I spotted several patches of I. setosa, each about 5' in diameter. Both patches were in a well-kept lawn area, suggesting the owners were preserving the plants and allowing them to flourish.

October 2012

The I. setosa flowered again this year, but not quite so well as last year. This was no doubt because of the early heat we had in March and April that created havoc with flora and fauna.

I did notice, however, that I. setosa has spread beyond its main clump. There are about a half-dozen small plants that only appeared in mid-August. It will be interesting to see what they do next year.

Positive SudieGoodman On Feb 17, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have the white Iris setosa 'Alba' in bloom as I write. The iris bed is in northeast bed beside Lake Sam Rayburn. This is first of my iris plants to bloom. So pleased and surprised. Was sitting before fireplace warming, looked out picture window at bird feeder and saw this welcome beauty.

Regional...

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

Anchorage, Alaska
Seward, Alaska
Palmer, Massachusetts
Southampton, Massachusetts
, Newfoundland and Labrador
Broaddus, Texas



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