2 to 4 ft.
2 to 4 ft.
central and southern Europe
USDA zones 3-9
hardy to 9,000 ft.
Bearded irises are a group of drought-tolerant perennial flowers with many different cultivars. They grow as upright plants with bluish-green, sword-shaped leaves.
In late spring, the showy, large flowers bloom on sturdy stalks above leaves. They get their name from the "beards" that resemble fuzzy caterpillars on the downward petals.
Bearded iris have a wide range of colors from black, blue, purple, orange, white, yellow, and cream. They come in a variety of heights, with the shorter cultivars blooming earlier than the taller cultivars.
Bearded irises are very drought-tolerant and easy to grow in the Colorado Springs area.
At the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, there are many different bearded iris cultivars, ranging in color from white to very dark purple.
The flowers are very beautiful when in bloom. The leaves are also quite attractive, with their upright, blade-like shape. Bearded iris have proven to be quite drought-tolerant and long-lived.
The Elmohr Iris Society of Colorado Springs maintains a wonderful demonstration garden in front of the East Library in Colorado Springs. It is a fantastic resource to view individual cultivars.
Cut flower stalks at the base after flowering is done. Remove the old, brown leaves in fall or spring.
Iris need to be dug up and divided every five years or so. August is a good time to divide them.