Tall Bearded Iris 'Thornbird'


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


Tall Bearded (TB)


24-36 in. (60-90 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

John C. Wister Memorial Medal (TB)

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:

, (2 reports)

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Sebastopol, California

Montrose, Colorado

Milford, Connecticut

Monroe, Connecticut

Gainesville, Georgia

Naperville, Illinois

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Manhattan, Kansas (2 reports)

Barbourville, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Gardiner, Maine

South Paris, Maine

Chelsea, Michigan

Jackson, Mississippi

Alton, Missouri

Robertsville, Missouri

Bridger, Montana

Harlowton, Montana

Shepherd, Montana

Toston, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Reno, Nevada

Auburn, New Hampshire

Keansburg, New Jersey

Salem, New Jersey

Corrales, New Mexico

Lake Placid, New York

Coshocton, Ohio

Milan, Ohio

Lawton, Oklahoma

Ponca City, Oklahoma

Thackerville, Oklahoma

Columbia, South Carolina

Celina, Tennessee

Greeneville, Tennessee

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Portsmouth, Virginia

Winchester, Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 16, 2011, disterheft from Columbia, SC wrote:

A stunning iris and a good increaser, as already noted. Profuse bloomer with great curb appeal (that's what I call it when my neighbors stop their cars to get a better look). Unusual yellowy-tan background, brownish-maroon marking on shoulders, high contrast with maroon-fading-to-gold horns. I have it planted next to Lady Friend and in front of Dynamite for complementary colors.


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

Awards: American Iris Society Honorable Mention '91, Award of Merit '93, Wister Medal '96, Dykes Medal '97


On Nov 27, 2005, ADKSpirit from Lake Placid, NY (Zone 4a) wrote:

I'll admit I've never met an iris I didn't like, but this is one of my all time favorites. I would have to include it in my top ten. The color is exquisite, and it produced beautifully the first year. Bloom time up here was the middle of June.


On Dec 13, 2003, Margiempv from Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Excellent grower, good increaser - all around great iris!