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Iris ensata - The Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris

Japanese iris (water iris) are a large flowered ' iris that generally have been bred from the species 'Iris ensata'.

In Japan three strains are cultivated, Edo, Higo and Ise. In the US it is the Higo and Edo strains that are the parents of most of the cultivars we see today.

Iris ensata are not actually a 'water iris', although in warmer climates they will grow in water, they do however like a moist soil and full sun.


These are an plant that should be divided and replanted every 2-3 years, this is best done in fall to early winter. A humus rich moist fertile soil is the best growing medium for Japanese iris


  • Height : 3 ft - 4ft
  • Growth : Moderate once established
  • Flower color : From close to pure whiye to blue and deep purple, all with a splash of yellow on the falls.
  • Foliage : Usually green sword shaped
  • Flowering period : Spring to summer, later in cooler areas
  • Seasonal interest : Spring to Summer
  • Landscaping uses : Garden borders, containers and general uses
  • Soil Requirements : Moist soil, netral to slightly acidic ph
  • Position : Full sun to light afternoon shade


Where to buy

Japanese Iris are available for sale from the following growers -

WHITE FLOWER FARM phone 1-800-503-9624

STOUT GARDENS - 405-642-4190
432 NE 70th St
Oaklahoma City, OK 73105

SCHRIENER'S IRIS GARDENS phone 800-525-2367
3625 Quanaby Road N.E
Salem OR, 97303 USA

PINE KNOT FARMS phone 434-252-0768 681
Rockchurch Road, Clarksville
Virginia 23927 USA