Bearded Iris Varieties

Bearded iris is a hardy perennial that is characterized by six petals, three upright petals called standards and three hanging petals called falls. Their common name, bearded iris, is in reference to the fuzzy line, or beard, that runs down the middle of each flower fall. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, flower shades include, pink, white, yellow, red, purple and blue. Bearded iris is a spring bloomer, although some often bloom into June.

Iris 'Rip City'

Iris ‘Rip City’ is a variety of bearded iris that grows 3 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 12 inches wide. The ruffled, deep red blooms have a contrasting yellow “beard” that runs down the middle of the fall. ‘Rip City’ emerges in late spring, creating a vibrant burst of color to the garden. Iris ‘Rip City’ blooms best in full, sun but tolerates a smattering of shade. To promote new growth, deadhead the spent blooms in early spring or fall. ‘Rip City’ thrives in well-drained, moist soil and is suitable grown in USDA zones 3 to 8.

Iris 'Beverly Sills'

Iris ‘Beverly Sills’ is an herbaceous perennial flower and variety of bearded iris that grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. A tall, bearded iris variety, it has erect stems that rise 35 inches from the ground to hold the flamingo pink flower with flaring falls. Bloom time on ‘Beverly Sills' is June, although the flowers begin to emerge in late spring. The 1 1/2-inch-wide and long, narrow green leaves have a sword shape. Drought-tolerant, once the flower has become established, ‘Beverly Sills’ is a staple to a perennial garden and an ideal flower to grow along the backdrop of a bed or border. Iris ‘Beverly Sills’ grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. According to Missouri Botanical Garden, ‘Beverly Sills’ does poorly in heavy clay soils that are poorly-drained with resulting increased vulnerability to diseases. They grow best in USDA zones 3 to 9.

Iris 'America's Cup'

Iris 'America's Cup' is an herbaceous perennial and bearded iris variety that does well in sunny borders of the garden. It grows 2-1/2 feet to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. The fragrant, white, ruffled flowers on ‘America’s Cup’ have matching white beards and emerge in spring for a showy display. The sword-shaped, linear foliage on ‘America’s Cup’ is green to contrast with the pale, crisp flowers. They grow best in full sun and well-drained, humus-rich soil that has medium moisture content. Divide ‘America’s Cup’ every three to four years to prevent overcrowding. They are suitable grown in USDA zones 3 to 10.

Keywords: bearded iris varieties, iris 'Rip City', iris 'Beverly Sills', iris 'America's Cup'

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.