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 variegata L.

Fully-hardy, rhizomatous bearded iris with branched stems bearing 3-6 pale yellow flowers with brown or violet veins in mid-summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1597.  [JD].  Paxton’s Dictionary lists 2 varieties in addition to the type. 

‘This species of Iris, inferior to few in point of beauty, is a native of the hilly pastures of Hungary, and flowers in our gardens in the month of May, and beginning of June. It is a hardy perennial, requires no particular treatment, and may be easily propagated by parting its roots in Autumn.’  [BM t.16/1787]. 

 ‘This species of Iris, though so long since introduced as the year 1597 is not frequently seen in our herbaceous collections.  It is a plant of low growth, sometimes not exceeding a foot in height, though this varies according to the soil in which it is planted, a moist situation increasing its luxuriance both in flower and foliage.  It is a native of Hungary, and is perfectly hardy, not requiring any particular treatment, and may be increased by separating the roots in Autumn, — flowers in May, and grows best in a stiff cold soil.’  [Roscoe pl.26/1831].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.258/1843]. 


Published Nov 08, 2009 - 03:09 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 05:17 PM

Figured is the whole plant with sword-shaped leaves and yellow flowers with purple markings.  Roscoe pl.26, 1831.

Iris variegata L. | Roscoe pl.26/1831 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

Central and Eastern Europe

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Iris variegata 

Confidence level high