Terms used in describing Japanese Iris:

Japanese Iris colors. shadings and patterns are quite difficult to describe in one or two lines! We hope the color photos will help show some of the terms that we use in the descriptions. You may find a difference between red violet and blue violet, which is in the film.  The written description is more correct.

3F (Single), 6F (Double), and 9-12F (Multi-petal): F= falls. Singles also have 3 standards (S) - small, upright petals.

STYLES: The three prominent, central female parts of the flower, ending with flared, bi-lobed crests.  Some doubles have multiple (4-6) styles.  In doubles (6F) the styles are very prominent, laying exposed in the center of the flower, and their color contrast, form number, and size are very important. They can make a flower "ho-hum" or "wow".

PETALOIDS: Extra styles or tubes or small petals in the center of some doubles.  Better culture can produce more in some cultivars.

SIGNAL: The yellow spear on all falls. Taken for granted in the descriptions.

HALO: The immediate area surrounding the signal. Only present in some cultivars but producing a color shading or pattern worth noting. It may be the most distinctive color pattern in the description.

VEINS: Only described when their color is different from the background.

RAYS: A more precise term used for white veins. Twice as wide as veins.

HEIGHT: Determined so much by culture that we do not try to estimate it for your garden. Those that genetically are short or tall, are noted as such. Normal height for JI is 32-38". Excellent culture can grow the same cultivars up to 40-50".

BRANCHING: One branch is the average, with two buds in the terminal and two in the branch. Many if not most varieties can be raised to produce two branches (three is possible and five is a record!)

EARLY or LATE: E. or L. varieties are noted if they are known to be consistent in this respect Otherwise assume mid season (M) for your area: about two weeks after Siberian iris bloom or about three weeks after tall bearded iris bloom. Also, late blooming Japanese iris start blooming with the early blooming daylilies! Yes, you can grow them together in the same bed.