Median IRIS

You may have found this site looking for tall bearded iris, already being familiar with their characteristics. Tall bearded iris range in height from 27-1/2 inches to 36 inches tall. With flowers 4-7 inches across, they bloom in late April through May in the Prescott AZ Quad City area.

Median iris come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. What sets them apart from tall bearded iris is their smaller size. Median iris have four classes:

  • Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris (SDB) 8 inches to 16 inches, the first to bloom – early April in our area.
  • Intermediate Bearded Iris (IB) 16 inches to 27-1/2 inches bloom after the SDBs.
  • Border Bearded Iris (BB) 16 inches to 27-1/2 inches bloom at the same time as tall bearded iris.
  • Miniature Tall Bearded Iris (MTB) 16 inches to 27-1/2 inches, also bloom at the same time as tall bearded iris.

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris thrive particularly well in zone 7, because the amount of bloom is determined by the cold winter season. They show off well, when grown in clumps. They may have a spot pattern on the falls. (Shown: Gingerbread Man)

IB iris goosebumps

Intermediate Bearded Iris have very interesting color patterns and are a good choice for a bouquet. They look good in clumps or as individual beauties. (Shown: Goose Bumps)

Border Bearded Iris, essentially small versions of tall bearded iris, have round, ruffled petals which enhance their small size. (Shown: Baboon Bottom)

Miniature Tall Bearded Iris are characterized by thin, dainty stems and small blossoms, which can resemble a cloud of butterflies. Sometimes called table iris, they are especially suited for floral arrangements. (Shown: Tic Tac Toe)

Bloom time and size make median iris a wonderful addition to the garden, as a border in front of the tall bearded iris or as individual clumps. Median iris grow well in most environments, the exception being SDBs as discussed above. Medians are well suited to small gardening spaces and are particularly valued in windy areas. Growing a variety of iris classes can lengthen the season of iris bloom in your garden.

Interested in growing medians in your garden? Search the PAIS store for BB, IB, MTB, or SDB, Also, check the following website for median iris hybridizers and their online stores.

If you happen to be in the Prescott AZ area during April and May, be sure to stop by the Yavapai College Sculpture Garden, where you can view iris of all sizes.

For more information and photos of award winning median iris, visit the Median Iris Society.