Tall Bearded Iris Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' (TB)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Iris 'Blueyed Brunette'


The Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' is a stunning plant notable for its striking flowers and attractive foliage. The iris blooms exhibit a deep, velvety purple hue which may appear almost black in certain lights. These luxurious petals are accented by a distinct area of lighter blue or white surrounding the so-called "beards" – the fuzzy, caterpillar-like structures in the center of each flower. The beards themselves are usually a creamy yellow or white, creating a dramatic contrast against the dark petals. Typically, an iris of this variety forms a clump of sword-like leaves, which are a rich green color and have a slightly arching habit, adding to the plant's overall aesthetic appeal. The combination of the bold flower colors and the elegant foliage makes the 'Blue Eyed Brunette' iris a striking choice for gardens and landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tall Bearded Iris, Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette', commonly known as tall bearded iris, is considered mildly toxic to humans if ingested. The primary toxic components are found in the rhizomes, or underground stems. Consumption of iris rhizomes can result in digestive distress such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant, especially the rhizomes, can sometimes lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It is advisable to avoid ingesting any part of the plant and to use gloves when handling or digging up the rhizomes to prevent skin irritation.

    • To pets

      The Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette', commonly referred to as tall bearded iris, is also mildly toxic to pets. If a pet, such as a dog or cat, ingests part of the iris, particularly the rhizomes, they may experience symptoms of toxicity including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, or abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or more serious digestive issues. It is best to keep pets away from this plant to avoid the possibility of poisoning. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the iris, seek veterinary care immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (61-91 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-61 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Temperate Northern Hemisphere


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' is known for its striking dark purple blossoms with blue beards, adding visual interest to gardens.
    • Pollinator Attraction: It attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, enhancing biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, this variety of iris is quite hardy and requires minimal care, making it an easy choice for gardeners of all levels.
    • Seasonal Interest: It typically blooms in late spring, providing a burst of color after early spring flowers have faded.
    • Drought Tolerance: This plant is relatively drought-tolerant, reducing the need for frequent watering once established.
    • Adaptability: It can adapt to a range of soil types, though it prefers well-drained soil, making it versatile for different garden conditions.
    • Cutting Garden Plant: The flowers can be cut and will last for a considerable time in vases, making them an excellent choice for home floral arrangements.
    • Landscape Design Versatility: These irises can be used in a variety of garden styles, including formal, cottage, and contemporary garden designs.
    • Naturalizing: They can spread and naturalize in an area over time, gradually expanding their presence in the garden.
    • Seasonal Division: Tubers can be divided and replanted to propagate new plants and control their spread in a garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' can serve as a natural dye, with its deep-colored petals providing a source for blue and purple hues in fabric dying processes.
    • The fibers of Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' leaves can be used in traditional basket weaving, contributing to sustainable craft practices.
    • Ink production can incorporate the pigments from Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' petals for a unique, organic colorant in artistic works.
    • Floral arrangements benefit from the addition of Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' for its striking color, which can enhance the visual appeal of bouquets and centerpieces.
    • Garden ponds can utilize Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' for marginal planting, as they can tolerate moist soil conditions and add aesthetic value.
    • The tall and erect nature of Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' makes it suitable for creating natural privacy screens in gardens and outdoor living spaces.
    • As part of a sensory garden, the distinctive fragrance and texture of Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' can provide an immersive experience for visitors with visual impairments.
    • The robust root system of Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' can help with soil stabilization on slopes or areas prone to erosion.
    • Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' can be used in photography and art classes as a subject to explore color contrast, detail, and plant structure in still life compositions.
    • Educational gardens can showcase Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' as an example of plant breeding and horticultural practices, inspiring future botanists.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Iris is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Irises are often associated with hope and cherished friendships. The 'Blue Eyed Brunette' variety, with its striking appearance, may symbolize a sense of optimism and looking forward to the future.
    • Wisdom: Historically, the iris is connected to wisdom, perhaps because of its regal bearing and the deep colors often found in its blooms. The 'Blue Eyed Brunette' can serve as a reminder to seek knowledge and understanding.
    • Valor: In some cultures, the iris carries connotations of courage and valor. The 'Blue Eyed Brunette,' with its bold coloration, could represent a person's bravery and strength in adversity.
    • Faith: The iris sometimes symbolizes faith, serving as a spiritual reminder of one’s devotion to higher powers or ideals. The 'Blue Eyed Brunette' variety could be seen as an affirmation of one’s faith or belief system.
    • Royalty: With its luxurious appearance, the iris often signifies royalty and majesty. The elegant form of the 'Blue Eyed Brunette' might then symbolize elegance and a noble bearing.
    • Purity: While white irises specifically symbolize purity, the 'Blue Eyed Brunette' with its deep hues might also suggest a form of purity in depth of feeling or sincerity of emotion.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late Summer-Early Fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Tall Bearded Iris, including 'Blue Eyed Brunette', prefers to be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage strong root growth. During the growing season, provide about one to two inches of water once a week, making sure the soil is well-drained and not waterlogged. If the weather is particularly hot or dry, you may need to water twice a week. In the winter, reduce watering significantly, as the iris is dormant and excessive moisture can lead to root rot. It's best to water early in the day so that the foliage has time to dry, reducing the risk of disease.

  • sunLight

    For the 'Blue Eyed Brunette' Iris, or Tall Bearded Iris, full sun is ideal, which means at least six hours of direct daylight daily. Place them in a spot where they receive unobstructed sunlight and are not shaded by other plants or structures. These conditions will encourage the best blooms and healthy growth. They can tolerate some partial shade, especially in hotter climates, but too much shade will diminish flowering and can cause issues with dampness and disease.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette' is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. They can survive minimum winter temperatures down to -20°F but generally prefer growing in conditions where the weather ranges from 55°F to 75°F. Irises do best with a cold period which helps them establish a proper dormancy phase, but sustained temperatures above 90°F can inhibit their flowering and be detrimental to their health.

  • scissorsPruning

    The 'Blue Eyed Brunette' Tall Bearded Iris should be pruned by removing spent flower stalks down to the base of the plant to encourage healthy growth and prevent energy being wasted on seed production. After flowering, cut back the foliage to about a third to maintain a neat appearance and promote good air circulation. Prune away any damaged or diseased foliage as needed, and after the first hard frost in autumn, cut the leaves back to about six inches above the ground to prepare the iris for winter.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Tall Bearded Iris prefers well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.8 to 7.0. The best soil mix for this iris would consist of loamy garden soil, compost, and coarse sand to ensure adequate drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Iris typically does not require frequent repotting and can thrive for several years in the same location. They should be divided and replanted every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and flower production.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tall Bearded Irises require low to moderate humidity levels. They are tolerant of drier conditions and do not thrive in excessively humid environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, cool temps, low humidity, and good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, and provide moderate water.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette', also known as the Tall Bearded Iris, begins its life cycle when a seed germinates, typically requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. Once sprouted, the seedling grows into a young plant with sword-shaped leaves, developing a rhizome that stores nutrients. Throughout its juvenile phase, the Iris puts its energy into vegetative growth, expanding both its foliage and rhizome system until reaching maturity. Mature plants produce tall stems, or 'stalks', that bear the distinctive ruffled blue-violet flowers with a contrasting 'eye' or signal in the second or third year. After blooming in late spring to early summer, the flowers are pollinated, leading to the production of seeds and the cycle begins anew. In addition to seed production, the plant can be propagated vegetatively by dividing the rhizomes in late summer, a practice that ensures genetic consistency and rejuvenates vigorous growth.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Summer-Early Fall

    • The Iris 'Blue Eyed Brunette', a type of Tall Bearded (TB) Iris, is most commonly propagated through division, which is typically done after the blooming period, late summer to early fall. This method entails digging up the iris clump and carefully separating the rhizomes, which are the horizontal underground stems characteristic of these plants. Each section should have at least one fan of leaves and a portion of the rhizome. Trim the leaves to about one-third of their height, which is about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters), to reduce water loss and make the plant easier to handle. Replant the divisions promptly, setting the rhizome just at or slightly below the surface of the soil with the roots spread out underneath, and water thoroughly to establish the new plants. This method of propagation not only helps to invigorate older clumps that may have become overcrowded but also allows gardeners to increase their collection or share with others.