Content Detail

Siberian irises have bluish-purple flowers with flashes of yellow and white near the throat. The flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and they rise above the bluish-green, sword-shaped leaves. In moist, well-drained soils with full to partial sunlight, Siberian iris can be planted in a cottage garden, cut-flower garden, pollinator garden, rain garden, container, or near ponds and streams.

  • Family (English) Iris
  • Family (botanic) Iridaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue, Purple
  • Shape or form Upright, Vase-shaped
  • Growth rate Fast
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

At maturity, Siberian iris is between 2 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. They spread primarily through underground root structures (rhizomes) or self-seeding. 

Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

Siberian iris is native to Asia and Central Europe. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Siberian irises attract a variety of bees and butterflies. 

Leaf description:

The bluish-green, swordlike leaves of Siberian iris are up to 30 inches long and 1 inch wide (lanceolate to linear). They have parallel veins and may arch backwards a bit. 

Flower description:

The flowers of Siberian iris are bluish-purple with flashes of yellow and white near the throat and are between 1 to 3 inches in diameter. The flowers grow at the terminal ends of the flowering stalks. Typical of iris flowers, Siberian iris has three large, reflexed, petal-like sepals, or falls. Unlike falls on other irises, Siberian iris falls do not have beards. The falls are surrounding the three upright petals, or standards. Emerging from the center of the standards are three spreading, petal-like structures (divided petaloid style) that cover the pollen-bearing structures (stamens).

Fruit description:

Siberian iris fruit is long and has edges that form a rounded or blunt triangular shape. Each edge has a longitudinal ridge down the center. The fruit (capsule) begins as yellow-green and turns chestnut brown as it dries and matures. When it has dried, the edges at the top of the fruit split to release the seeds. 

Plant Care:

Mulching around Siberian iris helps to prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture. To avoid skin irritation from the sap, wear gloves when handling Siberian irises. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Siberian irises are susceptible to issues with iris thrips, slugs, and snails. They also suffer from issues with bacterial soft rot.


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