Types of Bearded Iris

Types of bearded iris plants (Iris germanica) are categorized into particular classifications based on height--including short, intermediate and tall varieties. All bearded irises are low-maintenance, six-petaled plants with a beard-like line down the center of the three lower petals. However, their colors, level of fragrance and rebloom potential varies from one cultivar to the next. Bearded irises prefer full sun to partial shade and light, loamy soil.

Miniature Dwarf

Miniature dwarf bearded irises grow to a height of up to 8 inches with flowers measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The two types of miniature dwarf bearded irises that bloom in the spring are scribe (a white flower with blue borders) and zipper (a golden-yellow flower with a blue beard), according to the NC State University Cooperative Extension. Ditto is a repeat-blooming cultivar that yields a bicolor flower in cream and maroon colors.

Standard Dwarf

The type of irises referred to as standard dwarf irises grow to a height of 8 to 15 inches. Violet lulu, a spring-flowering standard dwarf cultivar, displays soft violet flowers; watercolor displays yellow upper petals ("standards") and brown lower petals ("falls"). Repeat blooming types of standard dwarf bearded irises include jewel baby (a deep purple flower) and sun doll (a yellow flower).


Intermediate bearded irises measure 16 to 27 inches in height. Intermediate bearded irises that flower in the spring include baby blue marine (a light blue flower) and piece of cake (a pink flower with markings resembling those of an orchid flower).

Miniature Tall

Miniature tall bearded iris plant measure 16 to 25 inches tall and display small flowers. Spring-flowering types of miniature tall bearded irises are chickee, a "ruffled" deep yellow flower and loreley, a flower in yellow and violet hues. Repeat bloomers are not prevalent among miniature tall bearded irises.


Border bearded irises measure 16 to 27 inches in height, but bloom later than the intermediates and are often found bordering swampy areas. Border irises that flower during the spring season include just Jennifer, a white iris flower and pink bubbles, a border iris that displays pink flowers. Repeat-blooming types of border bearded irises include double up, a bicolor flower in blue and white with dark violet edging and ultra echo, a violet and lavender flower.


Tall bearded irises reach a height of 28 to 38 inches. Spring-flowering types of tall bearded irises include Beverly sills, a pink flower and Venus and Mars, displaying a violet-hued flower. Repeat-blooming tall bearded irises are sugar blues, a light blue flower emitting a sweet fragrance and eternal bliss, displaying a high-contrast in violet with tangerine-hued falls.

Keywords: bearded iris types, bearded iris flower, repeat-bloom bearded iris

About this Author

Tarah Damask's writing career, beginning in 2003, includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum, and articles for eHow. She has a love for words and is an avid observer. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.