From short and dainty, through to tall and proud - select your irises for the rise and fall of your borders, and to create eddies of interest.
The Tall Bearded or TB are the most popular of all bearded irises.
Blooms are generally 15-18cm, carried on tall stems of 70-100cm.
They have a branching stem habit with between 7 and 12 blooms and generally flower later in the season.
Intermediate Bearded or IB irises are 40-70cm in height, with blooms 9 - 13 cm in width.
They have a substantially erect habit with stalks extending above the foliage. NB. rhizomes of IB's are smaller than TB's.
Being shorter, often scented and reblooming they are perfect for the front of a garden border, near a path, window or seat from where you can enjoy the scent and colours close up.
The IB class generally flower between the Standard Dwarf Bearded and the Tall Bearded irises.
Border Bearded or BB are a smaller version of the Tall Bearded irises, growing 40-70cm tall.
BB's bloom late in the season, and have larger flowers than Intermediate Bearded and Miniature Tall Bearded iris.
NB. Rhizomes of BB are smaller than both TB and IB's.
Miniature Tall Bearded irises are 40-70cm tall annd are also known as table irises or bouquet irises.
Dainty MTB blooms are carried on slender wiry stalks.
MTBs generally bloom at the same time as Tall Bearded iris.
They are often used in arrangements where a pleasing fragrance is important.
NB. The rhizomes of MTB iris are quite small, so please don't compare them to other taller iris varieties.
The SDB class consists of irises 15-40cm in height, with blooms between 5-10cm wide.
Stems may be branched or unbranched with two or more terminal buds.
SDBs generally flower after Miniature Dwarf Bearded irises and before the peak of the Intermediate Bearded irises.
Usually Fragrant and Reblooming, so plant 2-3 in a shallow wide pot to take indoors when in flower and fill the house with scent.
NB. The rhizomes of SDB iris are quite small, don't compare them to other taller iris varieties.
The smallest of the bearded irises - MDBs are up to 20cm tall.
They have small dainty flowers that measure 4-7.5cm.
MDBs are usually the first irises to bloom in the spring and have little or no branching.
NB. The rhizomes of MDB iris are very small, don't compare them to other iris varieties.