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Iris ensata
Iris ensata

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Zones 1-10, 14-24, 28-45
Full Sun
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate
Iris ensata
Iris ensata

Iris ensata

Japanese Iris
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials


A large and remarkably diverse group of 200 to 300 species, varying in flower color and form, cultural needs, and blooming periods (although the majority flower in spring or early summer). Leaves are swordlike or grasslike. Flowers (fragrant, in many kinds) are showy and complex in structure.

Iris ensata

Native to Japan, these irises feature sumptuous blossoms 4–12 in. across on slender stems to 4 ft. high. Flower shape is essentially flat. Single types have three broad falls and much-reduced standards, giving a triangular flower outline; double blossoms have standards marked like the falls and about the same size and shape, resulting in a circular flower outline. Colors are purple, violet, pink, rose, red, and white, often veined or edged in a contrasting shade. Plants have graceful, narrow, upright leaves wtih distinct raised midribs. Purple-flowered ‘Variegata’ has white-margined leaves.

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