See also Gallery 2 for information about the Iris Flower


Abbreviations for different types of irises:

Median -- All bearded iris classes (MDB, SDB, IB, BB, and MTB)
MDB - miniature dwarf bearded, up to 8" tall, the first bearded iris to bloom in earliest spring.
SDB - standard dwarf bearded, 8 - 16: tall, blooms in early spring
IB - intermediate bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, blooms after SDB's and before TB's
MTB - miniature bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, the flower is not more than 6" combined width + height, blooms with the TB's
BB - border bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, blooms with the TB's

SIB - Siberian Iris
JI - Japanese Iris
LA - Louisaina Iris
AB - an iris that is part aril and part bearded iris
Sp - species iris, as originally collected for or found in the wild
PCI - Pacific Coast Iris or Californicae
HIPS - Historic Iris cultivars are any iris introduced over 30 years ago

Season of Bloom:

VE - Very Early
E - Early
M - Midseason
L - Late
VL - Very Late

Parts of an Iris Flower:

S - standards - the uputurned three petals, (technically called sepals) that surround the three style arms
F - falls - the downturned three petals, (correctly called petals) that possesses beards. These may also be horizonally flared or flat instead of downturned.
B - beards - Elongated groups of fuzzy hairs in the middle at the upper base of all three falls.
SA - Space Age iris, ahve something extra, beard appendages called horns, spoons, or flounces.
Spoons - Appendages extending from the tip of the beards that widen into spoon shaped petaloids.
Horns - A protrusion or extension of the beards, often ending in a point or may be hair covered
Flounces - Wide, folded, often canoe or fan shaped appendages extending from the tips of the beards
Hafts - Areas on each side of the narrow of the falls, on each side of the beards
Shoulders - The areas on the arching upper middle part of the falls on each side just beyond the haft areas.
Pistil - The style arms with stigmatic lips and the ovary. The female flower parts.
Claw - The narrow base of the standard and fall, the expanded leaf-like part is called the blade
Ovary - The enlarged green, three-chambered structure enclosing the ovules where fertilization occurs
Spathes - The pair of modified green leaves that enclose the flower bud, usually turning tan after it blooms
Stamen - The anther plus its attachment filament. The anthers contain the granular pollen. The male flower parts.
Rhizome - Brownish, potato-looking, fleshy root

Thanks to Robin Shadlow, Betty Wilkerson, Collen Modra, Margie Valenzuela and Dave Silverberg for helping with photos.