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Japanese Water Iris, Japanese Flag, Russian Iris 'Fortune'

Iris ensata

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


Japanese (JA)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Midseason (MLa)




This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

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:

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Anchorage, Alaska

Durham, Maine

Royal Oak, Michigan

Southold, New York

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 22, 2010, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I purchased this iris long ago and love it in our gardens. I've given it to friends and family. I see no reason at all not to buy a beautiful plant.


On May 17, 2009, pollyk from Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

While the pictures posted are lovely, this is not a registered iris. There has been a big influx of irises from Dutch growers in recent years that were purchased as cast off seedlings from Japanese iris growers in Japan. These irises were given names such as Fortune, Imperial Magic, Pink Lady, etc. Most are different forms, some nice, some not. These are not sold by true iris growers, but by the businesses that sell everything and just give it any name. Do not trade or pass along this iris as Fortune.


On Feb 3, 2005, kivariver from Ipswich, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

This may not be a registered plant. White bloom with small standards that are brushed with a stippled purple. Big yellow signals that send fingers of yellow out into the falls.