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Tall Bearded Iris 'Before the Storm'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Before the Storm
Hybridized by Innerst
Registered or introduced: 1988
» View all varieties of Iris


Tall Bearded (TB)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 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)

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

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:

Midseason (M)



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:

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

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):

Honorable Mention

Award of Merit

Dykes Memorial Medal

John C. Wister Memorial Medal (TB)

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Tucson, Arizona

Bay, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Denver, Colorado

Montrose, Colorado

Severance, Colorado

Eastport, Idaho

Des Plaines, Illinois

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Clear Lake, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Storm Lake, Iowa

Olathe, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

South Paris, Maine

Hagerstown, Maryland

Hughesville, Maryland

West Springfield, Massachusetts

Belleville, Michigan

Richland, Michigan

Kansas City, Missouri

Robertsville, Missouri

Cut Bank, Montana

Beatrice, Nebraska

Salem, New Jersey

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Albany, New York

Coram, New York

Concord, North Carolina

Graham, North Carolina

Coshocton, Ohio

Felicity, Ohio

Lawton, Oklahoma

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Greeneville, Tennessee

Salt Lake City, Utah

Paine Field-Lake Stickney, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2017, iris_999 from Bogota,
Colombia wrote:

why is it called before the storm?


On Nov 24, 2015, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Parentage: Superstition x Raven's Roost


On May 3, 2014, eolivas103 from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

Planted in Fall 2012 and I just received the first blooms this Spring of 2014. Agree with others - Worth the wait!!! Flowers are very dark purple to black, and from even a foot and a half away appear completely black. The beards are also deep charcoal grey to black. After not flowering at all last year, this year it produced approx. 25 blooms. What is amazing about this flower is it's silky finish, like the suit of a well dressed man at a black tie affair - Flowers are formal and dressed to perfection. They are not big blooms but who cares - because they are about as fine as they come!


On Feb 18, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

The only problem I have is the beards do not appear 'black' to me; instead they look more like a dark violet. I got this one from one of the best suppliers (Schreiners) in the U. S. so I don't doubt the authenticity. With that aside, it is indeed a very strong black iris with relatively good growth, increase and bloom. It forms clumps fairly fast and never fails to bloom. Nice!


On Dec 26, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: American Iris Society Honorable Mention 1991, Award of Merit 1993, John C. Wister Medal 1995, Dykes Medal 1996


On May 28, 2005, MikenMyrtle from Myrtle Beach, SC wrote:

The neighbors came from all around to see the black flowers of Before the Storm. This flower is really beautiful--appears solid jet black from a distance -- up close you can tell it's deepest, darkest purple (virtually black). Falls were flared. Bloomed the first year for me. Very strong stalks. Sweet fragrance. I highly recommend it!


On May 23, 2004, Melissa_Ohio from Southwestern, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Beautiful rich color, and multiplies rapidly.


On May 21, 2004, wldflwr13 from Aurora, IL wrote:

Beautiful deep purple, shading to an inky velvet black petals. Did not bloom the first year, but don't give up!! The second year's blooms were astounding! Easy to care for, and divide nicely.