Iris wattii
Common Name: bamboo iris 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: Western China, Himalayas
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Lavender blue with white crests spotted orange
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 where it is best grown in rich, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Spreads by long slender, creeping rhizomes, but is not invasive.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Iris wattii is native to Assam and western China. It is a rhizomatous iris that typically grows to 2-3' tall. Broad, sword-shaped, basal leaves (to 3' long and 3" wide) grow in fans of 10 or more. As rhizomes spread outward, new fans appear. Lavender blue flowers (to 3" diameter) with white crests spotted orange-yellow bloom in spring. Branched flower stalks bear 40-50 flowers.

Genus named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

Specific epithet honors Scottish medical man and economic botanist Sir George Watt (1851-1930).


No serious insect or disease problems. Wet conditions in winter may cause root rots.


Excellent rhizomatous iris for landscapes. Best in groups. Will spread over time to form colonies. Beds and borders.