Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Iris aphylla L. subsp. hungarica

Iris aphylla is a rhizomatous, dwarf bearded iris with grey-green leaves and branched stems bearing 1-5 purple or blue-violet flowers with yellow-tipped white beards in spring.  To 30cm.  [RHSE].  The variety hungarica is often taller than the type.  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Iris Hungarica] is a native of Hungary: it has been lately introduced, and is quite hardy of course, with us.  It produces its pleasing flowers in the months of April and May, and is well worthy of a place in any garden.’  [LBC no.1970/1833]. 

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine relates Iris aphylla to I. plicata Lam. and I. pallida.  ‘Our plant is so very closely related to pallida that we are at a loss to find any other characteristics than those of size, scent, and glaucousness of the leaves.’  [BM t.870/1805]. 

It is figured in the Botanical Register under the name Iris furcata.  [BR f.801/1824].  The plant figured has red rather than blue flowers.

‘Flowering in May and June, and sometimes again in autumn.  [Iris hungarica] is not one of the strongest growing sorts, but is of middle stature, the leaves seldom exceed a foot in height.’  [OFG f.250/1854].  Iris hungarica was introduced to Britain in 1815 [JD] and I. aphylla in 1748.  [FC p.148/1859].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.238/1843].


Published Nov 03, 2009 - 03:29 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 05:29 PM

Figured are sword-shaped leaves and a flag iris with blue flowers with reddish falls.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.1970, 1833.

Iris aphylla L. ssp. hungarica | LBC no.1970/1833 | HAAB

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

Central and eastern Europe

  • Iris hungarica Waldst. & Kit.
  • Iris furcata M.Bieb.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Iris Hungarica 

Confidence level high