Iris pallida ‘Variegata’

golden variegated Dalmatian iris

  • © David Jones

Synonyms: Iris pallida ‘Aurea Variegata’

Outstanding Qualities

Bold golden and bright green stripes on sword-like leaves distinguish this cultivar of Iris pallida. To top it off the purple flowers with yellow beards are scented, being very reminiscent of grape Kool-Aid® or grape soda. When the flowers are finished the attractive variegated foliage extends the dramatic interest through autumn and even winter, if mild enough. Iris pallida 'Variegata' is slightly more tolerant of competition than its sister cultivar I. pallida 'Argentea Variegata', although nothing too vigorous. Interplant it with low, open perennials that also do well in full sun and very well-drained soil.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 2 ft. 6 in. (0.76 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 6 in. (0.76 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: purple, yellow, pink

Great Color Partners: gold, dark green

Culture Notes
This lovely iris is best in full sun and well-drained soil. It will tolerate sandy sites and clay soils if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is fully drought tolerant. It is best to grow in an open airy site with little competition. Cut the foliage back when it looks bad in the fall. It will keep its vigor with regular dividing every three or four years in August or September.
Geek Notes
Along with Iris germanica, I. pallida is one of the so-called “orris” irises whose fragrant roots are used as a fixative for potpourri.