Tall Bearded Iris 'William A. Setchell'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: William A. Setchell
Hybridized by Brehm
Registered or introduced: 1938
» 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)


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

Bloom Color:



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:

Unknown - Tell us

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):

Unknown - Tell us

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 is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Cornville, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

San Jose, California

Durham, Maine

Silver Spring, Maryland

Cicero, New York

Concord, North Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Midland, Texas

Plano, Texas

Whitesboro, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 30, 2020, Marjoe from Prescott, AZ wrote:

This is a great performer for me in dry high desert, Prescott, AZ. I do not water. After wettish winter my 4 year clump has 9 stalks about 4 feet tall. Ready to open like tomorrow. I love this historic and would recommend as it seems tough. I like tough performers. Not into babying or watering.


On Jul 7, 2018, Gardener21 from Randallstown, MD wrote:

Back in the 1950's my mother had many iris. However, out of them all, this one and Wabash were my absolute favorites. This one was simply huge, and smelled like concord grapes. I always looked forward to seeing it bloom.


On Oct 18, 2011, themikesmom from Concord, NC wrote:

William A. Setchell [Dolly Madison x Purissima] Brehm, 1938 Historic TB 36" scapes ML bloomtime. Giant Gargantuan, and Mammoth is what describes this Violet-Blue Self iris, with heavy branched stems. Very similar to 'Lent A. Williamson', not as tall of scapes, and larger, huge blooms. Some people do not like its billowy, flowing form, and they claim it lacks rigidity and substance, I however, thinks it adds to its striking and vivid color, on it's lovely, haunting and flowing, giant blooms.