Orchid Iris, Reticulate Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

Iris histrioides

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: histrioides
Cultivar: Katharine Hodgkin
Additional cultivar information:(aka Katherine Hodgkin, Kathryn Hodgkin)
» View all varieties of Iris
View this plant in a garden




under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


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


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Extra early (EE)




This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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

San Jose, California

Clifton, Colorado

East Haddam, Connecticut

Chicago, Illinois

Palos Heights, Illinois

Skowhegan, Maine

Ellicott City, Maryland

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Wayland, Massachusetts

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Toledo, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Richmond, Texas

Bruce, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 23, 2011, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted in fall 2010, supposed to be a perennial to zone9. Avoid overwatering during summer, its dormant time. They are very low to the ground, so they really must go at the very front of garden to be noticed.


On Mar 28, 2009, Aurene from Palos Heights, IL wrote:

I planted these last fall and was so pleased to see the first one blooming 2 days ago. Something different than crocuses and p-ussy willows (which I also have). Such a pretty, exotic-looking thing. Reminds me of a snow leopard. I understand they naturalize readily so am looking forward to having even more next year!


On Apr 4, 2006, bbrookrd from Nantucket, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I planted a grouping in late Nov from a bag out of sale bin of unmarked bulbs from an Agway store in Vt. I planted them in Nantucket and all 20 bloomed by march 30 2006. An interesting color. Deer and rabbits have ignored them so far. I will see if they return next year. Thanks for the id on the iris thread from flowerfrenzy. patti