Mystery iris, who are you?

[Edited update: Mystery solved. According to someone who grows this, accosted as I passed their garden while I was out on a walk, this is ‘Rare Edition.’ Thanks to everyone who contributed their guess. Helen]

For the iris experts out there: What is the name of this lovely little plicata iris growing on a neighbour’s slope?

Once you get past Iris or, maybe if you want to get fancy, Iris germanica or Iris florentina or (and I’ve killed this one) Iris pallida ‘Variegata’ you’ve pretty much exhausted my irisology. Purple is all I grow.

Thought it might be easy to identify with a picture as reference. But, gee, did you know you can Google a google iris varieties out there. Any ideas for this one?


  1. I don’t know what is, but it is very pretty. My sister has one growing in her collection. She and I just have iris’s–not a clue what they are called–purple, lighter blue, white, purple with white throat. LOL. Google? I just found out you could google Hosta!! If the Iris sites are anything like that one..then I still wouldn’t know what it was called.

  2. It might be “Bold Print”.

    Just re-found Chapman’s Iris, a nursery outside of Guelph, and it reminds me I would love to go there again at iris Bloom Time.

    Check it out here, scroll down halfway:

    If that’s not it, good chance it will be somewhere on his site, he’s got lots of good pics. And he’s fairly close to Toronto. Yay!

  3. Sarah, I don’t think it’s Bold Print, as the tops or standards are more purple in the mystery iris. Though Bold Print is beautiful, and I like the analogy to writing.

    I think I’ve just fallen in love with irises through this search process, and have a strong need to go out to Chapman Iris. We should plan a visit.

  4. Iris intermedia ‘Rare Edition’ looks like a pretty good match to me! ‘Bold Print’ is definitely in the right ballpark, but it seems like it has more purple on the lower petals than your neighbor’s iris. Either one though, would be a beautiful choice if you wanted to grow something similar in your yard!

  5. Veronica, yes it looks very similar to ‘Stepping Out’ — but the mystery iris has more defined splotches of white on the standards and narrower edging on the falls.

    SO, is also a Tall Bearded, and by the height and blooming time of the one I’m wondering about my guess is that it’s an intermediate. The tall beardeds aren’t open yet in Toronto.

  6. I’m no Iris expert, but it is pretty. It’s amazing what nature can create. I’ve grown lisianthus in the past that had the same type white-edged-in-purple appearance. Cheers and thanx for visiting my blog!

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