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Bearded Iris Classifications

MDB - Miniature Dwarf Bearded - This is the smallest classification of the bearded irises. Flower stalks no taller than 8". Small, dainty flowers appear early in spring and there is little or no branching on the flower stalks. These irises are good along the front of the border or in the rock garden.

SDB - Standard Dwarf Bearded - This classification consists of bloom stalks 8"-16" in height. Stems may be branched or unbranched, usually with multiple buds. Blooms will be up to 4" wide and are typically earlier than other classifications except for MDB. This class has a wide color range of availability.

IB - Intermediate Bearded - This class produces bloom stalks 16"-27.5" in height. Blooms are typically 3.5"-5" in diameter. This is typically a late May bloomer, before TB, and may have variable height depending on placement, weather, soil conditions, etc. The bloom size is proportional to the plant.

MTB - Miniature Tall Bearded - This class, also known as table irises, produces bloom stalks 16"-27.5". Blooms are very dainty compared to those of BB or TB. The slender stalks and dainty blooms make them ideal for use in arrangements.

BB - Border Bearded - This class will have consistent bloom stalks in the 16"-27.5" range. It blooms at the same time as TB class. Blooms are larger than those of IB and MTB and essentially resemble a reduced size TB iris.

TB - Tall Bearded - This class will produce bloom stalks over 27.5" in height. The vast majority of TB irises will be much taller and may require staking. Blooms are very large and proportionate to the size of the plant. This class has the widest range of colors and patterns.


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Color Standards

Color Falls



Broken Pattern

Beard Contrast


Space Age

Dykes Award

Wister Award