Species are the world's wildflowers. This horticultural class of Iris includes all botanical species in the Genus Iris. All Iris can be placed either in the species class or the Spec-X class for hybrids since all plants are either species or hybrids. The other thirteen horticultural classes overlap the species and spec-x classes because there were derived from them. The other classes represent further refinements. For example, all Japanese Iris are the species, Iris ensata. But modern Japanese Iris have been selected for so long, they are entirely different from the wild Iris ensata. While botanically Japanese Iris are still a species, horticulturally the species class is reserved for the wild or wild like forms of species that are represented in the derivative classes and any plant for which a derivative class has not been developed.
While most species have not been developed like the Japanese Iris, even in a given wild population there is variability that may be more worthwhile as a garden plant. These wildflowers with special traits are often given cultivar names and people expect that they are hybrids. But not all cultivars are hybrids. They may just be interesting clones that are part of the natural diversity within the species gene pool.
Example: Iris lactea
Select a letter to browse by variety name:
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Or if looking for information about a species select the letter for that species. Hint: doing a search on a particular species will give you the species and all cultivars of that species that have been entered
Species Web Contents
Northeast US Natives
Southeast US Natives
Near East Natives
Far East Natives
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Interested in Iris Species? Please visit the: Species Iris Group of North America website.