Species Iris, Wild Bearded Iris

Iris germanica

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: germanica
Synonym:Iris germanica
Synonym:Iris florentina
Synonym:Iris sambucina
Synonym:Iris x sambucina
Synonym:Iris mesopotamica
» View all varieties of Iris
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Tall Bearded (TB)



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 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

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Early midseason (EM)

Midseason (M)



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Awards (if applicable):

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Phoenix, Arizona

Hinsdale, Illinois

Harlowton, Montana

Toms River, New Jersey

Concord, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 28, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I grow what I believe is the "true species" of Iris germanica -- a smallish purple flower with yellow beard. However, the provenance of my original is lost in the mist of time. I grow it among succulents and it survives and thrives on amazingly little water and in strong afternoon sun. This shouldn't surprise me because you commonly see still-thriving iris beds at old homesteads in Arizona that have been deserted for 50 to 100 years.


On Nov 8, 2011, harloiris from Harlowton, MT wrote:

The trade list continues to be a catch all for unidentified iris, but there are true germanica's available from gardeners and from commercial growers.


On Nov 13, 2009, Zaragoza from Zaragoza,
Spain (Zone 8b) wrote:

I can't believe it!!!!!!!!!!! Is not possible that this plant, extremely common in gardenery, was not present in DG until I added this file... Only a cv. of Irid germanica is present but not the "normal" one that is with big difference the most cultivated of all Iris of any kind (species or hybrids).

Editor's Note
There was an entry at one time, but it became a 'catch-all' entry for unidentified bearded Iris. Let's keep this entry for the true species. Thanks!