Tall Bearded Iris 'Seafarer'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Seafarer
Hybridized by Butterick
Registered or introduced: 1948
» 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:

Light Blue


Bloom Time:

Midseason (M)

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Awards (if applicable):

Honorable Mention

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:

Robertsville, Missouri

Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 30, 2011, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Awards: Honorable Mention 1949


On Jun 26, 2011, faeden from SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Because Dave's Garden had no verifiable information on Iris Seafarer, we wrote to the Historic Iris Preservation Society. Here is the response from Mike Unser:

"Here's what I have found.

Checklist: Seafarer TB M B1M (Butterick N. [meaning not-introduced - but that is not correct]) R. 1948 (The Admiral X Great Lakes), HM 1949

[From the] Fairmount Gardens catalog for 1956: (Butterick 1949) ML The name suggests the clear blue water of the sea and is most appropriate. All that have seen this iris praise it highly and are impressed not only by the clarity of blue color, but by the perfection of form and sturdy growth. It is a true self, smooth and free from self veining that so often mars the beauty of an iris. The color is clean and pure and more... read more


On May 14, 2011, bitterdregs from Williamsport, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

The plant files are wrong on this iris and I don't know how to change them. This blooms very early season. Mid May. It is highly prolific. It is bright purple, NOT light blue. There is only one known photo of seafarer and the picture is faded hence why people think it's light blue/grey. That pic was taken in the 50's. I just submitted a new picture I took this morning. I'm not sure how long it will take to show up. It's very pretty for an older iris and will fill your garden space quickly. Bright purple with yellow and white beards.


On Sep 16, 2008, 1913cat from Robertsville, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Came from someone who has an old catalog. Hybridized by Butterick 1949.


On Jun 20, 2003, planter64 from Alexandria, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This cultivar mentioned on page 27 of The Iris Book, Molly Price, Dover Publications, Inc., 1973, color in the medium-blue range. This must be an old cultivar...not listed anywhere on the internet.