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Japanese Iris (JI)

Japanese Irises (I. ensata) are the imperial class of the iris world.

At up to 4 feet tall with dinner plate size flowers, Japanese irises are truly garden royalty. That they are last of the iris world to bloom proves that Mother Nature saved the best for last. With a little extra TLC, a garden that includes Japanese irises will be the envy of your gardening world.

Cascadia Iris Gardens is proud to host a National Japanese Iris Collection. We currently grow approximately 300 named hybrids, with more coming in every year.

Patrick also hybridizes Japanese irises. He currently has around 1,000 seedlings in various stages of evaluation. This year's introductions are 'Nutcracker Suite' and 'Wiley Creek'. We love them and think you will too. Please see the Growing Instructions for more information.

I. ensata
I. ensata

From Japan comes this form of I. ensata. 3 falls of dark red violet and matching standards.

Compare it to the modern hybrids and see what over 600 years of hybridizing can do!

I. ensata variegata (AKA Silverband)

(36") Silver green and cream foliage with a typical species flower. 100% stable variegation. AKA 'Silverband'.

JI All In White

(Delmez, 2000)  36"   6 falls 

White Self

JI All The Style

(Bauer/Coble, 2009)  40"   3 falls

Light blue veined darker. Bright white style arms.

JI Amethyst's Sister

(Harris, 2011)   52"    9 falls

Lavender blending to dark violet.

JI Barbara Said So

(Spence, 2021)   44"   6 falls.

White shaded mulberry on the hafts with white rays and a diffused blue halo. It is tall with 2 branches and up to 7 buds held nicely above the foliage. The petals are held flat and neatly ruffled.

JI Belgium Sky

(Hublau, 2006)   35"   6 falls 

Blue with a white ray pattern.

JI Beyond Chance

(Delmez, 2001)  39"   3 falls

Orchid standards above large and full lavender blue falls. One of Patrick's favorites!

JI Blue Twilight Moon

(Walker, 2006) (25")   6 falls

Red violet with a dramatic blue halo around the bright yellow signal.

JI Bob's Choice

(Copeland, 2007)   35"   6 falls

Blue violet self. Makes an excellent clump at peak bloom!

JI Bountiful Blessings

(Delmez, 2007)    34"   6 falls

Sky blue lightly veined darker. Our best blue JI!

JI Butterflies In Flight

(Aitken, 1991)   42"   6 falls 

White ground neatly veined blue violet. Payne Medal winner!

JI Caprician Butterfly

(Marx, 1985)   36"   6 falls

White ground with bold purple veins. Payne Medal 1994

JI Carol Johnson

(McEwen, 2011)   32"   3 falls   Tetraploid

Purple standards over sky blue falls. Big and beefy but in a good way! A solid rebloomer for us.

JI Cascade Crest

(Aitken, 1988)   36"   6 falls

White sanded blue, heaviest at the edge. A gorgeous iris! Payne Medal winner!

JI Christina's Sister

(Copeland, 2009)   38"   6 falls

Pale violet falls veined darker with a bold violet halo around the signals.

JI Classical Charm

(Bauer/Coble, 2005)   38"   3 falls

Red violet standards with white falls.

JI Columbia Crest

(Harris, 2015)   50"   6 falls

Royal purple blending to blue with multiple upright style arms.

JI Columbia Deep Water

(Harris, 2013)   48"   6 falls

Red violet with deep blue violet rays. Excellent combination of color and form.

Chad has his "Columbia" series of Japanese irises describing the different stages of the river from headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Though all are excellent irises, Columbia Deepwater is truly magnificent and my favorite.

JI Craola Fiesta

(Walker, 2009)   31"   6 falls

Light ground veined and edged red violet. Stunning!

JI Craola Solstice

(Walker, 2012)   27"   3 fall

Lee did really well with this one! Standards and falls have a light ground heavily overlaid red violet. We really like it.

JI Dalle Whitewater

(Harris, 2011)   48"   6 falls

White heavily sanded blue. Outstanding form!

JI Delmarva Delight

(D. Hagar)   36"   6 falls 

Stunning! White with a wide blue edge.

JI Dewa Banri

(Ichie, 1989)   36"   3 falls 

A historic iris from Japan. Red violet standards. White falls veined dark violet. The JI snobs out there (you know who you are!) tell me I am not supposed to like this one. Too Old!, Small Flowered! Only 3 falls! You are all wrong. It has the best clump and garden presence in my JI field.

JI Dirigo Editor

(White, 2008)   36"   6 falls

White with bold purple veins and style arms.

JI Dirigo Old Pewter

(White, 1996)   40"   6 falls

One of my favorites. It opens medium blue and as it ages, fades to a unique silvery blue (pewter) coloring.

I have seedlings from it that have not bloomed yet. Fingers crossed for something equally cool!

JI Don And Donna

(Bauer/Coble, 2008)   40"   6 falls

Pale lavender blue with darker veins. Dark style arms on top set this off nicely!

JI Dramatic Moment

(McEwen, 1982)   40"   6 falls

Ruffled light violet heavily veined darker.

JI Electric Rays

(Aitken, 1990)   40"   6 falls

Blue violet with light blue rays. Payne Medal winner!

JI Fairy Carillon

(Payne, 1969)   32"   3 falls

Red violet standards. Falls light violet veined blue. We love this one!

JI First Act

(Bauer/Coble, 2004)   34"   6 falls

Red violet self. The first 6 fall to bloom in our garden.

JI Flamingo Waltz

(Harris, 2014)   36"   6 falls

Beautifully ruffled pink self. One of the best irises we grow!

JI Flashing Koi

(Marx, 1978)   6 falls   Registered at 36" but grows close to 48" for me.

Stunning white with wine red veins. But the best part is the random petaloids that can be small or as large as a normal petal. You never know what the shape of the flower is going to be. One of the first JIs I grew and still a favorite.

JI Foreign Intrigue

(Bauer/Coble, 1995)   38"   6 falls

Very dark purple blending to a silvery edge. Really nice!

JI Fourfold Pink

(McEwen, 1996)    30"    3 falls   Tetraploid

Large pink with a white halo and heavy substance.

JI Fractal Blue

(Reid, 1995)   36"   6 falls

Blue violet with a sanded and veined pale lavender pattern. Really very striking!

JI Freckled Geisha

(Reid, 1981)   36"   6 falls

My most favorite Japanese Iris! White with deep pink  freckles and edge. Gasp! Oooh! Aaaah! Pick your own favorite reaction. It will happen when this one blooms. Payne Award winner!

If you read all of the descriptions of all the irises on my site, you will see that Dotted Line is my favorite iris. Freckled Geisha runs a close second. It is no surprise that both irises were hybridized by Lorena Reid. She was a hybridizer of immaculate taste. Every one of her irises is a vigorous grower with beautiful form.

JI Freckled Peacock

(Harris, 2001)   54"   3 falls

White heavily freckled violet. Excellent form and very showy!

JI Frosted Intrigue

(Bauer/Coble, 1997)   36"  6 falls

Dark blue violet with multiple crested style arms. Makes a great parent!

JI Greywoods Amethyst Mist

(Wilkinson, 2005)   38"   6 falls

Amethyst purple with white style arms tipped purple.

JI Greywoods Annalise

(Wilkinson, 2010)   30"   6 falls

Ruffled white with a bright pink rim. IMHO, Darlyn's very best!

JI Greywoods Carnaby Street

(Wilkinson, 2013)   32"   6 falls

White ground overlaid lavender violet. Pure white style arms.

JI Greywoods Rain Shadows

(Wilkinson, 2010)   35"   6 falls

White with a blue lavender rim and freckles.

JI Greywoods Rivertide

(Wilkinson, 2007)   38"   6 falls

Lightly ruffled medium blue with a few white rays extending from the bright yellow signal.

JI Greywoods Zampata

(Wilkinson, 2006)   36"   6 falls

White heavily shaded and veined dark violet. A huge flower that is a sight to behold!

JI Hall Of Marble

(Marx, 1956)   36"   6 falls

White with a marbled purple overlay.

JI Haru No Umi

(Hirao, 1993)   32"   3 falls

Light violet ground with a dark violet center and rays. Stunning goodness! In Japan prior to 1985.

JI Hekiun
JI Hekiun

(Hirao by SJI, 1992)   30"   3 falls

Standards and falls blue with white rays. Gorgeous!

JI Indigo Angel

(Bauer/Coble, 2013)   36"   6 falls

Probably the best newer iris that we grow. Stunning white with purple veins and wide rim on the petals. Great substance and vigorous growth habit. Perfect? Maybe not but a darn good iris.

JI Japanese Pinwheel

(McEwen, 1988)   40"   3 falls   Tetraploid

Wine red with a white rim. Payne Award winner!

Currier McEwen was a leader in beardless iris hybridizing. Currier was the first to convert beardless irises from their natural "diploid" state (2 sets of chromosomes) to tetraploid (4 sets of chromosomes). The extra chromosomes multiply the genetic possibilities for each iris. It also has the effect of producing flowers with much heavier substance and typically larger foliage. Japanese Pinwheel is still the best tetraploid JI on the market (my opinion). Though in my garden, it tends to not open fully (see clump picture below). Every time I have seen it in a mid-west or east coast garden it has been spectacular!

JI Japanese Plum

(Harris, 2010)   38"   6 falls

Red violet with a plum halo radiating from a yellow signal. Truly gorgeous!

JI Jocasta
JI Jocasta

(Innerst, 1987)   36"   6 falls

Light ground with a blue halo and veins, turning red violet at the edge. Full form and spectacular!

JI Kimono Silk

(Bauer/Coble, 2008)   40"   6 falls

White with a nice dusting of bright blue. Payne Medal winner!

JI Koshui No Asa

(Shimizu, 1998)   32"   9 falls

Sky blue. Perfect form!

JI Lake Effect

(Bauer/Coble, 2004)   34"   6 falls

Beautiful medium blue blending to a white rim. Payne Medal winner!

JI Love Goddess

(Payne, 1969)   44"   6 falls

White self with buttery yellow style arms.

JI Luxor Temple

(Bauer/Coble, 2013)   36"   9 falls 

Our favorite multipetal JI. Blue violet with a white halo. Tall and proud enough to be a good rebloomer for us.

We think it odd that you would name a Japanese Iris after a site in Egypt, but Bob and John are odd ducks! Not to mention brilliant, but the two often go hand-in-hand.

JI Mahogany

(Hallock, 1893)   36"   6 falls

One of the first JIs on the market back 128 years ago. Deep red violet self. Historic significance!


(McEwen by Whitney, 2009)   30"   6 falls   Tetraploid.

Though tetraploid JIs are not our favorite thing, this one is really good. White with blue veins. Very striking with heavy substance.

JI Michio
JI Michio

(Miller, 1988)   36"   6 falls

Soft mid-blue with white rays.

JI Midare Ito

(Tomino by SJI, 1993)   30"   3 falls

Falls are lavender fading to white. Standards are lavender and tend to droop. A delicate JI that flutters nicely on a breezy day.

JI Midnight Clouds

(Bauer/Coble, 2010)   36"   6 falls

Blue violet with white rays and bright white style arms.

JI Midsummer Reverie

(Marx, 1954)   42"   6 falls

Rosy red over a white background.

JI Miss Coquette

(Payne, 1966)   32"   6 falls

Purple with white rays.

JI My Kathleen

(Smith, 2008)   50"   3 falls

Pale blue standards over pale lavender falls. Very tall and a vigorous grower.

JI Neptune's Trident

(Harris, 2011)   38"  6 falls

A very good medium blue. Excellent branching, flower form and vigorous growth.

JI Night Angel

(Aitken, 1996)   34"   6 falls

Deep purple with white rays and multiple tufted style arms neatly arranged on top. Payne Medal winner!

This is probably Terry Aitken's best Japanese iris introduction. It is a great parent, though it can only be the pod parent as it does not have pollen. Its children tend to have excellent form with many style arms that form neat little tufts atop the flower. See Columbia Deep Water as an excellent example.

JI Night Blizzard

(Payne, 1963)   45"   6 falls 

Amethyst violet heavily flecked white.

JI Nutcracker Suite

(Spence, 2022)   42"   6 falls
Seedling # J13D-5 (Sing The Blues X Bewitching Twilight)

White with butter yellow styles and a diffused yellow signal with fine yellow veins extending 2/3 of the way down the petals. Flat form and neatly ruffled. Imagine the prima ballerina in full pirouette during the Waltz of the Snowflakes!

JI Ocean Mist

(Marx, 1953)   36"   6 falls

Soft medium blue. A really pleasant iris that simply makes me smile every time I walk by it.

JI Oh So Pink

(Delmez, 2009)   30"   3 falls 

A somewhat diminutive pink self. But what it loses in size, it more than makes up for in carrying power. Payne Medal winner!

JI Ol' Man River

(McEwen, 1987)   36"   6 falls

Red violet with light white splashing. Lots of flowers and the occasional rebloom for us!

JI Oriental Eyes

(Vogt, 1984)    40"   6 falls

Still one of the very best! Light violet with darker halo around a yellow signal that radiates out. Payne Medal winner!

JI Over The Waves

(Marx, 1954)   48"   6 falls

White with a large purple border! Add a bit of stippling and you get one gorgeous iris!

JI Pagoda Temple

(Harris, 2017)   36 "   12 falls

A fun iris showing true Hose-In-Hose form. 6 falls of blue violet, and from the center come 6 more falls of blue violet.


JI Perfect Choice

(Delmez, 2015)   31" (taller for me)   6 falls

Medium blue self with excellent form. Another really great iris from Don Delmez.