Growing Guide
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Iris, Dwarf Crested

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Iris cristata
Iridaceae Family

A delicate native of North American woodlands, Dwarf Crested Iris forms carpets of 6-inch tall plants. The spring flowers come in a wide variety of purple shades, with white and yellow markings.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Benefits from at least a few hours of direct sun daily. If grown in full sun keep soil constantly moist.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates low fertility
Ideally, amend soil with sand or leaf mold. High fertility often results in excessive vegetative growth causing clumps to lose density.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 8
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.5 to 0.75 feet

Spread: 0.75 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-spring
  • late spring

Flower color:

  • yellow
  • blue
  • violet
  • white

Flowers range from pale- to deep-purple with yellow crests and purple-spotted, white centers. Some varieties have white or bluish flowers.

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright
  • fan-shaped

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers are nearly stemless

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Northeastern U.S.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - Divide in the early fall when the foliage has yellowed.

Maintenance and care:
Divide every 3 to 4 years after flowering.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Slugs and snails
‘Alba’: white blooms.

'Caerulea': deep blue blooms.

‘Echo Ruffles’: large purple blooms.

‘Shenandoah Sky’: pale blue blooms.

'Summer Sky': deep blue blooms.