Spuria Iris Iris 'Kitt Peak' (Spuria)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
iris 'Kitt Peak'


Iris 'Kitt Peak,' commonly known as Spuria Iris, is a captivating and showy perennial that boasts a striking appearance. It has a sturdy, upright form, with long, slender leaves that resemble blades of grass. These leaves grow in a clumping manner, creating an organized and tidy presentation in the garden. The flowers of the Spuria Iris 'Kitt Peak' are particularly eye-catching. They emerge on strong, erect stalks and typically display a gorgeous array of colors that can include shades of blue, purple, or violet, often with intricate veining or contrasting color patterns. The blooms possess a unique form, consisting of three large, downward-curving falls that are smooth or lightly ruffled, and three smaller upright petals, known as standards, which add an elegant and distinctive look to the flower. The petals may have a soft, satiny sheen and can showcase bright yellow or white signal patches toward the base, drawing attention to the interesting color variations and patterns. Additionally, these flowers can exhibit a pleasant fragrance that adds another layer of enjoyment to their presence in the garden. Overall, Iris 'Kitt Peak' is a fascinating and ornamental plant that is admired for its vibrant, exquisite flowers and graceful, linear foliage, making it a standout addition to any space where color and form are appreciated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Spuria Iris, Butterfly Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Kitt Peak'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Spuria Iris can be harmful if ingested, as many iris species contain compounds that can cause stomach upset and other digestive issues. Symptoms of iris poisoning in humans may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Eating large quantities can potentially lead to more severe health consequences, so it is best to avoid ingesting any part of the plant. It is advisable to handle irises with care, as the sap can also cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      The Spuria Iris, like many plants in the Iris genus, is toxic to pets if ingested. The rhizomes and bulbs are particularly poisonous. Common symptoms of iris poisoning in pets include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to increased salivation, difficulty breathing, and other more serious health issues. Therefore, it's important to prevent your pets from chewing on or ingesting any part of the plant. If you suspect your pet has consumed any part of the Spuria Iris, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (91-122 cm)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (60-91 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Iris 'Kitt Peak' adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking flowers and tall, elegant stems.
    • Drought Tolerance: This variety of Spuria Iris is relatively drought-tolerant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, benefiting the local ecosystem.
    • Low Maintenance: Iris 'Kitt Peak' requires minimal care beyond initial planting and occasional watering, making it a good choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Seasonal Interest: This plant typically blooms in late spring to early summer, providing seasonal color and interest in the landscape.

  • 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

    • The tall, strong stalks of the Iris 'Kitt Peak' can be used in weaving to create natural garden structures or lightweight baskets.
    • Dried Iris 'Kitt Peak' petals can serve as a component in homemade potpourri, contributing to its unique shape and color.
    • The fibers from Iris 'Kitt Peak' leaves can be used for making sturdy natural cords or threads for crafts.
    • As a natural dye source, the petals of the Iris 'Kitt Peak' can provide a range of colors from yellows to purples for textiles or artworks.
    • The seeds of the Iris 'Kitt Peak' can be strung together to create unique and decorative jewelry pieces.
    • Pressed Iris 'Kitt Peak' flowers can be used in botanical art, such as creating detailed pressed flower arrangements or in scrapbooking.
    • Iris 'Kitt Peak' plants can act as a natural water purifier when planted along the banks of ponds or water gardens, as their roots can help filter impurities.
    • The clumps of Iris 'Kitt Peak' can serve as erosion control on slopes or riverbanks due to their dense root systems holding soil in place.
    • Dried seed pods from the Iris 'Kitt Peak' add an unexpected and sculptural element to dried floral arrangements and wreaths.
    • In eco-printing, the leaves of Iris 'Kitt Peak' can be used to transfer their shape and color onto paper or fabric through a steaming process.

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 often symbolize hope due to their vibrant colors and appearance in the spring, indicating renewal and the return of favorable conditions.
    • Wisdom: The iris is frequently associated with wisdom; this symbolism can be traced back to Greek mythology where the goddess Iris was a messenger who represented the connection between heaven and earth.
    • Trust: Gifting an iris may signify faith and trust in the relationship between the giver and receiver, reflecting the reliable nature of this perennial.
    • Valor: Historically, the iris has been associated with valor and bravery, especially during the Middle Ages when it was emblematic of knights and heraldry.
    • Royalty: The iris, particularly the purple varieties, have been tied to royalty and regal bearing, frequently found in royal gardens and art.
    • Purity: White irises, in specific, are hailed as a symbol of purity and innocence, often included in bridal bouquets and floral arrangements for this very reason.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Spuria Iris should be watered deeply but infrequently to mimic their natural arid conditions. During the growing season, aim to water them every week or two, ensuring that the soil dries out between waterings. When temperatures increase in summer, you may need to water more frequently, but always check the soil moisture first. A good rule of thumb is to provide about 1-2 gallons of water per plant, focusing on a thorough soaking that reaches the deep roots. During the dormant season in winter, reduce watering significantly to prevent rot.

  • sunLight

    Spuria Iris performs best in full sun conditions, receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal spot for this plant is in an open area where it can enjoy uninterrupted sun exposure throughout the day. Partial shade can be tolerated, but flowering may be reduced.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spuria Iris prefers temperate climates with a temperature range between 68°F and 86°F for optimal growth. They can survive minimum temperatures down to around 14°F to 20°F but should be protected from extreme cold. Ideal growing conditions are achieved when temperatures remain within this ideal range without major fluctuations.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Spuria Iris involves removing dead or damaged foliage and spent flower stalks to promote healthy growth and prevent disease. It is best to prune after flowering has finished, typically late spring or early summer. This allows the plant to focus its energy on root and foliage development. Pruning should be done at least once a year, but diseased or damaged parts should be removed as soon as they are noticed.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Spuria Iris prefers well-drained soil enriched with organic matter, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH of 6.5 to 7.0. The best soil mix is a blend of loamy garden soil, peat moss, and sand to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Spuria Iris, often does not require frequent repotting and can be done every three to five years. They prefer to be undisturbed, so repot only when the clumps become overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Spuria Iris thrives in average outdoor humidity levels and does not require any special humidity conditions. They are quite adaptable to the humidity levels found in most temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, minimize watering, ensure good air flow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, water moderately.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Spuria Iris 'Kitt Peak' begins with seed germination in favorable conditions, usually requiring stratification to break dormancy. Once the seed sprouts, it develops into a seedling with the basic iris characteristics including sword-like leaves. As the plant matures, it forms a robust rhizome which stores energy and nutrients necessary for the plant's growth and flowering. Each year, the rhizome produces new fans of leaves and, given the right conditions, will send up tall stems that bear the distinctive iris flowers characteristic of the 'Kitt Peak' variety in late spring or early summer. After blooming, the flowers are followed by the formation of seed pods if pollination occurs. The life cycle continues as the plant enters a period of dormancy during colder months, resuming growth with the return of warmer weather.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the Spuria Iris 'Kitt Peak' is through division of the rhizomes. This process is usually done in late summer to early fall, after the blooming period has ended. To propagate, gardeners should carefully dig up the clumps of irises, making sure to gently shake off excess soil and expose the rhizomes. Using a sharp knife, the rhizomes can be cut into sections, each with one or more growth points or "fans" of leaves. The cut surfaces should be allowed to dry for a few hours to form a callus, which helps prevent rot. The divisions can then be replanted about one to two feet apart and one inch deep to encourage new growth. Within a few years, these divisions will mature and can potentially produce blooms resembling the beautiful 'Kitt Peak' iris.