Tall Bearded Iris 'Stepping Out'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Stepping Out
Hybridized by Schreiner
Registered or introduced: 1964
» View all varieties of Iris


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

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Dark Purple/Black

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Midseason (MLa)



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:

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:

, (2 reports)

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Bentonville, Arkansas

Apple Valley, California

Bakersfield, California

Stanford, California

Nampa, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Pekin, Illinois

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Manhattan, Kansas (2 reports)

Gardiner, Maine

Hallowell, Maine

Adamstown, Maryland

Gladwin, Michigan

Deer River, Minnesota

Alton, Missouri

Brunswick, Missouri

Robertsville, Missouri

Toston, Montana (2 reports)

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Boone, North Carolina

Concord, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Glouster, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Kingston, Oklahoma

Ponca City, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Easley, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Celina, Tennessee

Greeneville, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Irving, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

Roanoke, Virginia

Edison, Washington

Pullman, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 29, 2010, nwh from Chicago, IL wrote:

Just gorgeous. Vigorous, easy to grow, eye catching. I got these at a clearance sale at a garden center and they were not cared for too well but were still bursting out of the pots. I figured they might be tough. The first year or two it was slow, but after the third year -- wow. I have some in semi-shade and even those turned into a huge clump well over 3 feet tall with multiple bloom spikes on each plant. Some are next to my red landscape roses --blooming at the same time-- and I get a lot of comments on this combination. I highly recommend this plant.


On May 12, 2010, Kestris from Roanoke, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Lovely, well blooming flower. Grows rapidly and strongly with large fans for me. Multiple blooms repeatedly on multiple stalks.


On Aug 11, 2009, slcochran from Akron, OH wrote:

I thought I had this iris. I got it from a friend, who called it "Step Toes." Must not be, though, because besides the attributes listed above, it has a strong grapey scent. That's the problem with trades, you usually can't be sure about varietal names and maybe not even the correct species. Is this iris known to have a strong grape-like scent?


On Apr 21, 2006, MemphisLizzy from Memphis, TN wrote:

This is one I wouldn't ordinarily purchase from a catalogue, however, I did receive it as a trade from my friend. I traded for the much-overused-in-memphis azalea and I think I get the better trade. These iris are huge in full sun > 3 ft and only slightly shorter in part sun. They divide well and are always a cause for comment from neighbors and friends. Even when they're done blooming, they make a statement and go well with my other flowers.


On Dec 16, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: American Iris Society Honorable Mention '65, Award of Merit '67, Dykes Medal '68


On May 18, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

'Stepping Out' is an Iris that has never needed staking in my garden. I generally don't like purple plicatas on white backgrounds but I love this one. The flower has great ruffles and substance and the very white backgound shines against the wide dark purple rim and dark purple stands. The flower is on the large side. Quite a presence in the garden. Seeing this Iris you would never guess that it was introduced 40 years ago.


On Oct 20, 2003, 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. Summer temps can exceed 90 degrees F. My soil is very heavy, compacted clay with a slightly acid pH. 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 provided at all. Most TBs here are growing with less than 6 hrs of sun per day, so growth and bloom are not what they could be under full sun condi... read more


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

38" HISTORIC Large white areas sharply patterned edges of blue-black-violet. DM 1968 Schreiner 1964
The contrast between white and the very dark edge is great. Grows and blooms well. zone 6