Tall Bearded Iris 'Helen Collingwood'


Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Cultivar: Helen Collingwood
Hybridized by Smith
Registered or introduced: 1949
» 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


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

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:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Awards (if applicable):

Award of Merit

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:

Crossett, Arkansas

Ellendale, Delaware

Oskaloosa, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Durham, Maine

Preston, Maryland

South Lyon, Michigan

Deer River, Minnesota

Tupelo, Mississippi

Robertsville, Missouri

Croton On Hudson, New York

Elba, New York

Concord, North Carolina

Lawton, Oklahoma

Greeneville, Tennessee

Gainesville, Texas

Marshall, Texas

Portsmouth, Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 13, 2011, themikesmom from Concord, NC wrote:

Helen Collingwood [Extravaganza x Louise Blake] 1949 TB 40" scapes ML Season Bloomtime. Beautiful Dark Violet Purple Falls under the Palest Light Lavender Sky Blue White Standards on the top. The first time I saw Helen Collingwood's picture, I didnt like her, but she is so stunning in person and so unique, the Blooms are just huge, and the color contrast of these almost White Blue Standards with this Deep Purple is one of a kind. My son bought me this variety for my birthday. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful 2-Tone Bi-Color Historic Neglectas' of all time.


On Feb 9, 2010, 1913cat from Robertsville, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

HM 1950


On Jul 19, 2009, dancingbear27 from Elba, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a tough girl! It is one of the survivors who was left unattended in a pallet of sand at my old home site when my house was literally picked up and moved. I have had no means to move them or place to plant them until now. She is still blooming strong after 2 years of total neglect in a pallet of sand. Beautiful velvety color and nice 2-tone contrast.


On May 16, 2009, SusieSunflower from Wichita, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

Award of Merit, 1952.
The 1976 Schreiner's catalog, pages 26 & 68, describes this as a vivid bicolor with light lavender standards and deep plum purple falls.
These colors were accurately captured in my 2008 photograph, but the scanned image of it shows the standards with a blue cast. The beards are yellow.


On Sep 1, 2007, Homefire from Portsmouth, VA wrote:

38" M
Well, this is where it all started for me. My father grew only 2 variaties of irises and this was one of them. It was the first iris I ever grew, and I still grow it today along with 300+ other varieties. It is one "tuff lady". It always blooms prolificly, no matter the condition. If you look at the picture I imported to this site, you will notice that it is growing in a dense patch of weeds. This is not the main clump in my iris bed, but where it once was and I moved it. But evidently I left a piece behind in this area that is no longer cultivated. Lo and behold a new clump was born on its own! You can't go wrong with this one!


On May 25, 2007, veronagardener from Tupelo, MS wrote:

This tried and true iris has great increase and blooms every year, regardless of the weather.