Iris terms and Information



     Irises are divided into several classifications based on form and height denoted by the abbreviations below.  Other iris abbreviations you may see elsewhere are included here too.  Some common abbreviations are also used for descriptions of daylilies.


**Specific Bloom dates are not listed as this can be somewhat variable depending on local growing conditions. **


TB- Tall Bearded: 27- 40" + - Blooms mid to late spring, at least late April through to Mother's Day in May here in VA zone 7a.


MTB- Miniature Tall Bearded: 16-27.5" - Blooms with BB's and TB's


BB- Border Bearded: 16-27.5" - Blooms with MTB's and TB's


IB- Intermediate Bearded: 6-27.5" - Blooms after SDB's but before MTB's, BB's and TB's


SDB-Standard Dwarf Bearded: 8-16" - Blooms early spring Mid-April and later.


MDB-Miniature Dwarf Bearded- 6-8" - First bearded iris to bloom with or just after crocus in late February to March.


Other Abbreviations:

LA- Louisiana Iris - these beardless irises bloom late May to Mid-June in VA zone 7b

SIB-Siberian Iris - these beardless irises bloom late May to Mid-June in VA zone 7b

SPX-Species cross hybrid

SPEC- Species Iris originally collected from or found in the wild only.


Bloom Season: These designations are general and only indicate a tendency toward the expected blooming time during the season.  Bloom times will vary based on garden conditions.  Combinations of these notations indicate the cultivar has a wider seasonal range for its expected bloom period.  You may have different results.


VE-Very Early



ML-Middle Late


VL-Very Late

RE-Indicates a reblooming cultivar.  All the above listed classes have some cultivars which are rebloomers.  Rebloom (i.e.; Remontance) is not guaranteed. It is depended on many things from plant care to local weather patterns preceding the predicted rebloom season.  I list reported rebloom for irises based on the 2012 rebloom checklist to assist you if you are interested in such irises.


All catalog descriptions are adapted from the following websites: Irises: The AIS iris encyclopedia found at  Some technical information has been deleted to conserve space.  My intention is to stay as close as possible to official registered descriptions.