Tall Bearded Iris 'Beverly Sills'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Beverly Sills
Hybridized by Hager
Registered or introduced: 1978
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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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



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:

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

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:

Cottonwood, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Arbuckle, California

Yosemite Lakes, California

Glastonbury, Connecticut

Atlanta, Georgia

Barnesville, Georgia

Nicholson, Georgia

Oak Lawn, Illinois

Macy, Indiana

Oskaloosa, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Anacoco, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Hagerstown, Maryland

Preston, Maryland

Salem, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts

Blanchard, Michigan

Clawson, Michigan

Deer River, Minnesota

Mathiston, Mississippi

Kirksville, Missouri

Robertsville, Missouri

Weatherby, Missouri

Omaha, Nebraska

Auburn, New Hampshire

Rye, New Hampshire

Toms River, New Jersey

Corrales, New Mexico

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Bronx, New York

Elba, New York

Southold, New York

Albemarle, North Carolina

Liberty, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Milan, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Lawton, Oklahoma

Dallas, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Greeneville, Tennessee

Midland, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Blacksburg, Virginia

Portsmouth, Virginia

Pullman, Washington

Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 16, 2017, smcatl from Atlanta, GA wrote:

I received a small, dry tuber of 'Beverly Sills' in fall of 2014 from Breck's (don't get me started), which I planted immediately. That winter it died back to the ground, which TBIs don't do here in Atlanta. It grew poorly the next year, but sent up one very short (20"?) scape with three very pretty blooms. Then I thought it had died again.

Then, in 2016, it bloomed (one scape) in spring . . . then again in DECEMBER. This spring (2017), it is growing vigorously, with many new side tubers, but it hasn't bloomed yet, and I see no scapes forming. It has remained quite short. It's still 'Bubbles Silverman' to me until it shows me what it can do--or not. But I have to say, that December bloom was something. The jury is still out on whether to turn its turf over to 'Happenstance'... read more


On Oct 19, 2015, NJIrisGuy from Toms River, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I purchased this rhizome of 'Beverly Sills' in March 2015. I planted the rhizome in my garden, and in May 2015 this Iris bloomed. It was lovely. It had a total of 3 flowers, 1 stalk. It never increased or multiplied. I'm skeptical as to
whether it will increase and bloom again this Spring. I don't know whether this will be a keeper in my garden.


On May 5, 2013, disterheft from Columbia, SC wrote:

Like Homefire, I'm not so impressed with this one. Doesn't bloom every year here in central South Carolina and doesn't have the personality of a Happenstance or Hurricane Lamp. In my garden, VERY short for a TB.


On Apr 19, 2012, Mego27 from Louisville, KY wrote:

Simply gorgeous pink iris. It also has a heavenly fragrance.
A friend gave my a rhizome of this a couple of years ago and I am grateful to her everytime I see this lovely iris!


On May 2, 2011, hinshawbaker from Liberty, NC wrote:

I live in central NC, and purchased this Iris in late spring/early summer of last year (2010). When I bought it, it was ONE plant in a 6" pot. It looked very healthy, but was not a huge plant at all. I bought it because I had never seen a pink Iris. I put it in the ground & kept it watered through the heat of the summer. What amazed me about this Iris is that in spite of the fact that it was obviously a young plant, newly planted, it started to multiply within a very short time. By the time spring arrived, it had multiplied to six fans! I really didn't expect any more suprises from this plant....but low and behold it sent up 3 full sized bloom stalks, loaded with buds. The buds started to show color very recently. I was delighted this morning when I went out on the porch with m... read more


On Jan 20, 2009, DaLoveRat from Blanchard, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

One of the best growers here, nice flowers its no wonder its one of the all time favorites.


On Aug 30, 2007, Homefire from Portsmouth, VA wrote:

I hate to go against the rest, but Beverly Sills does nothing in my garden in Coastal Virginia. I grew it for 3 years and it was always small and plain. Was never impressed as others have been. I finally gave up on it. It was always prone to get leaf spot also. Blah flower!!!


On May 22, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: Honorable Mention 1981; Award of Merit 1983; Dyke's Medal 1987


On Oct 8, 2006, RobertWM from Clawson, MI wrote:

Lovely smooth creamy coral pink flowers which give a very pink effect in the garden, with a beard just slightly darker pink.Attractive modern flared, slightly ruffled form. Good growth and sturdy stalks. It has the added advantage of performing well in only a maximum of three hours of sun a day. Most iris require much more. An "oldie but goodie" that I would never want to be without.


On Mar 14, 2006, Margiempv from Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

It's a lovely iris, but has a hard time keeping itself going - - year after year! (at least here in Southern Arizona) It does well if it's pampered and given LOTS of extra feedings.


On Feb 17, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This gorgeous iris has one of my favorites (Vanity) as one of its parents, so no wonder it looks and grows so well. An accurate description from me would include 'pink work of art' or 'natural beauty at its best'! A very worthwhile iris! All garden factors here are positive, including growth, bloom and hardiness.


On Oct 23, 2005, laurief from Deer River, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

Very few tall beardeds (TBs) can survive my growing conditions. This northern MN zone 3b climate inflicts severe, extended cold during the winter months, often with little snow cover for insulation. The summer growing season is short with temps that sometimes exceed 90 degrees F. My soil is very heavy, compacted clay with a slightly acid pH, though I grow my irises in well-amended, raised beds or windrows with improved friability and drainage. A large local deer population frequently tramples and sometimes grazes on my irises in early spring and late fall. Iris borers are present but managed successfully with a granular systemic grub control product. Weeds are abundant and only occasionally beaten back by an admittedly lazy gardener (yours truly). Fertilization is inconsistent, when provid... read more


On Jun 30, 2004, llebpmac_bob from Zephyr,
Canada wrote:

Looks particularly striking when planted in combination with a black iris like Superstition. I should know, I've got them in combination in my garden.


On Apr 19, 2003, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

She sings in my garden, love the orange tongue!