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 persica L.

Fully-hardy, bulbous, dwarf iris with linear leaves and stems with 1-4 silvery-grey to sand-yellow or pale green, scented flowers in late winter and spring.  To 10cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Lynch].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Its beauty, early appearance, and fragrant blossoms, make it highly esteemed by all lovers of flowers; like the hyacinth and Narcissus it will blow within doors in a water-glass, but stronger in a small pot of sand, or sandy loam; a few flowers will scent a whole apartment: it will also bloom in the open air but requires warmth and shelter. […] Parkinson remarks, that in his time it was very rare, and seldom bore flowers.’  [BM t.1/1786]. 

‘Among the many old plants that have most injudiciously been disregarded by modern cultivators, the Persian Iris occupies a conspicuous place.  Its merits, indeed, are of so rare an order, that it is really wonderful that so few gardens contain it.’  [MB p.77/1843]. 

‘This beautiful species has been in cultivation in England for three centuries, for it was accurately described by Parkinson in 1629.’  [Dykes].  FS f.1045/1856.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.249/1843].


Published Nov 04, 2009 - 05:17 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 05:21 PM

Figured is a bulbous iris with pale blue leaves with darker blue and orange markings.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1, 1786.

Iris persica L. | BM t.1/1786 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

Middle East

  • Iris praecox Salisb.
Common Name

Persian Iris

Name in the Camden Park Record

Iris Persica 

Confidence level high