Tall Bearded Iris 'Honky Tonk Blues'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Honky Tonk Blues
Hybridized by Schreiner
Registered or introduced: 1988
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Tall Bearded (TB)


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:

Dark Blue

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

John C. Wister Memorial Medal (TB)

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Durham, Maine

Belleville, Michigan

Blanchard, Michigan

Alton, Missouri

Robertsville, Missouri

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Milan, Ohio

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Lawton, Oklahoma

Ponca City, Oklahoma

Rapid City, South Dakota

Greeneville, Tennessee

Readyville, Tennessee

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Tyler, Texas

Rosalia, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 14, 2016, eolivas103 from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

The blue on this flower is a very good medium blue. I planted last fall and it put out multiple beautiful blooms this Spring. Also, some blooms are lighter and some are darker which I enjoyed.


On Jan 28, 2009, Mainer from Durham, ME (Zone 3a) wrote:

Very hardy in my zone and it does have purple base fans.


On May 24, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: Honorable Mention 1990; Award of Merit 1992; Wister 1994; Dyke's Medal 1995


On Mar 14, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

'Honkey Tonk Blues' is a 37" mid-season bloomer. Highly recognized, it has won the American Iris Society Honorable Mention '90; Award of Merit '92; Wister Medal '94; Dykes Medal '95. The Wister Medal is the highest award possible for the Tall Bearded Iris and requires winning the Honorable mentiona and Award of Merit. The Dykes Medal is the highest award given by the AIS for any Iris.


On Jun 20, 2003, NellPercy from Ponca City, OK wrote:

This is an odd thing. Has splashes of near white on a mid blue flower. Exactly how it looks depends on your soil and the weather. Grows and blooms well but does not multiple rapidly. Schreiner 1988