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.

Pardanthopsis dichotoma (Pall.) Lenz

Fully-hardy, short-lived, rhizomatous, iris-like perennial with blue-green leaves with a distinct white edge in a fan-shaped cluster, and many-branched stems to 60cm, bearing a profusion of flowers, with white falls, spotted brown-purple, and grey-white standards, faintly striped with purple.  Other colour forms are known.  The plant often dies after flowering but seeds readily.  [RHSD, Hortus, Dykes].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Iris dichotoma is] the rarest species of its genus in our collections, and marked by more than one striking anomaly.  The foliage and stem partake considerably of the habit of those in Pardanthus chinensis, or China-Ixia.’  Introduced to Britain by John Bell in 1784.  [BR f.246/1817]. ‘This is a very distinct species of Iris, remarkable for its much branched habit, short spathes and fugacious, rather small bright purple flowers, which expand in the evening, one after another in the same cluster on successive days, after the fashion of Tigridia or Pardanthus.  It is a native of the Eastern half of Siberia, and has long been known in cultivation, but it has always been very rare.’ [BM t.6428/1879].  OFG f.262/1854.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.232/1843].


Published Oct 18, 2009 - 03:14 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2010 - 05:08 PM

Shown is flowering stem, the flowers  brown-purple, the standards whitish.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.6428, 1879.

Pardanthopsis dichotoma (Pall.) Lenz | BM t.6428/1879 | BHL

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

Central and eastern Asia

  • Iris dichotoma Pall. 
Common Name

Vesper Iris

Name in the Camden Park Record

Iris dichotima 

Confidence level high