• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Iris germanica

bearded iris

bearded iris

© RHS

  • Other common names bearded iris
    common German flag

    common iris
    flag
    flag iris
    German iris
    liberty iris
    orrice root
    orris root

    see more
  • Synonyms Iris mesopotamica
    Iris 'Florentina' blue

  • Family Iridaceae

  • Genus Iris may be rhizomatous or bulbous perennials, with narrow leaves and erect stems bearing flowers with 3 large spreading or pendent fall petals, alternating with 3 erect, often smaller, standard petals, in late winter, spring or early summer

  • Details I. germanica is an evergreen perennial with grey-green leaves. Flowers have both bluish-violet standards and falls, with yellow beards in late spring

  • Plant range E. Mediterranean

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Clump-forming

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Toxicity Ingestion may cause severe discomfort

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or East-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in well-drained or sharply drained neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Ideal at the base of a sunny wall

Propagation Propagate by dividing irises from midsummer to early autumn, plant immediately in flowering positions

Suggested planting locations and garden types Banks and Slopes Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers Wall-side Borders City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning Cut back after flowering

Pests Slugs and snails may be a problem

Diseases May be subject to bacterial soft rot, grey moulds and a virus

Advertise here

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.