Iris Classification – Aril Irises

The following is derived from information on The American Iris Society (AIS) website at The AIS divides irises most often used as garden plants into three main groups: Bearded Irises, Aril Irises and Beardless Irises.

Aril irises include oncocyclus and regelia irises of the Near East. Both types have beards; however, they are not classified as bearded irises, their beards are sparse. Beards on regelias are long and straggly. Beards on oncocyclus are more like a “fuzzy” patch. Arils have a dark spot below the beards, called signal spots, there is a lot of veining and speckling in a large range of colors.

Arils are normally found in only the warmest and driest regions of the U.S. A hybrid called arilbred was produced by crossing arils with bearded irises. Arilbreds are easier to grow here and still have the features of an aril. Most are tall with large blooms that bloom with the SDBs and the IBs (earlier than TBs).

Smaller arilbreds have also been produced by crossing arils or arilbreds with dwarf or median bearded irises.


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