Wild Iris, Northern Flag, Beachhead Iris 'Alba'

Iris setosa

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iris (EYE-ris) (Info)
Species: setosa (set-OH-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba
Synonym:Iris setosa var. alba
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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 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

Bloom Color:

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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 has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Palmer, Massachusetts

Southampton, Massachusetts

, Newfoundland and Labrador

Broaddus, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 29, 2010, Cyprepedium from Palmer, MA wrote:

May 29, 2010---Four years ago, when I began my garden here in Palmer, MA (01069), I had intended to include in it both wild and cultivated flowers. I planted some Iris versicolor (Blue Flagge) that I found struggling in a shaded part of my property. By the second year, it had really taken off, and I was able to separate it and distribute it in other places in the yard (I'm partial to this flower, especially in the context of its historical connection to the French fleur-de-lys). My success with it prompted me to look at other wild irises. My interest turned to the Wild White Iris, Iris setosa.

Last year (spring of 2009) I found someone in my immediate area who had a relative who had a fairly large patch of I. setosa. A small clump that included three flowers found its way to... read more


On Feb 17, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have the white Iris setosa 'Alba' in bloom as I write. The iris bed is in northeast bed beside Lake Sam Rayburn. This is first of my iris plants to bloom. So pleased and surprised. Was sitting before fireplace warming, looked out picture window at bird feeder and saw this welcome beauty.