Tall Bearded Iris Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' (MTB)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
iris 'Robin Goodfellow'


Iris 'Robin Goodfellow', a type of bearded iris, is a charming plant renowned for its distinct and attractive flowers. This plant features a beautiful color palette on its blooms, with standards that are typically a soft shade, often a light yellow or pastel tone, while the falls, the downward curving petals, display a contrasting, richer hue such as deep purple or maroon, which can sometimes have a velvety appearance. The petals may also exhibit intricate veining or stippling, adding to their ornamental appeal. The flowers possess a fuzzy strip, known as a beard, which is commonly found in a contrasting color that can range from white to orange, giving the bloom a striking appearance. This namesake beard adds a touch of whimsy and contributes to its overall charm. The foliage of Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' forms a fan-like structure, composed of long, sword-shaped leaves that are a bright green color. These leaves are often slightly arching and can add a graceful, vertical element to gardens. The plant's leaves and blooms both grow from a robust rhizome, which anchors it into the ground and provides nutrients for the plant. The flowers are borne atop sturdy stems that rise elegantly above the foliage, creating a picturesque display during its blooming season. Although the exact size is not to be mentioned, the Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' fits into the broader category of bearded irises that is typically known for its manageable scale and suitability for a variety of garden settings, including borders and iris-specific plantings. Its appeal is further enhanced when it sways gently in the breeze, adding movement to the garden landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Robin Goodfellow Iris, Miniature Tall Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' (MTB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' is a type of Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB) iris. Irises are generally considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans, but they are not edible and can cause adverse reactions if ingested. Ingesting parts of the iris plant, particularly the rhizomes (underground stems), can result in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some individuals due to the presence of irisin, which is found in the rhizomes. It is advisable to avoid ingesting any parts of the iris plant and practice proper hand-washing after handling it.

    • To pets

      Irises, including the Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB) iris known as 'Robin Goodfellow,' can be toxic to pets if ingested. The most toxic parts of the plant are the rhizomes and bulbs. If a pet, such as a dog or cat, consumes part of an iris, symptoms of poisoning may include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, more serious symptoms such as increased heart rate or respiratory distress could occur. If you suspect your pet has ingested iris, contact a veterinarian promptly. It's important to keep irises out of reach of pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: The Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its vibrant, colorful blooms.
    • Low Maintenance: This plant requires minimal upkeep once established, making it ideal for gardeners of all levels.
    • Drought Tolerant: After establishment, it has good resistance to drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Pest Resistant: It is generally resistant to pests, decreasing the need for chemical interventions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Adaptable: Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' is adaptable to a variety of soil types, though it prefers well-drained soil.
    • Seasonal Interest: It provides interest in the garden with not only its spring blooms but also through its foliage in summer and fall.
    • Cold Hardy: This plant is capable of surviving in colder climates, making it suitable for many temperate gardens.

  • 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 'Robin Goodfellow' can be used as a natural dye, providing hues of yellow, brown or green depending on the part of the plant used and the mordant applied.
    • The fibers from the leaves can be crafted into baskets or woven into mats, allowing for a unique, organic material in traditional handicrafts.
    • These irises can be used in perfumery, capturing the delicate fragrance of their flowers for use in floral scent compositions.
    • The blooms can serve as a subtle, natural way to add color and aesthetic appeal to desserts when candied or used as a garnish.
    • Their rhizomes can be processed and used as a base for natural insect repellents, owing to certain compounds they contain.
    • The plant can play a role in phytoremediation, helping to remove heavy metals from contaminated soil with its natural filtering capabilities.
    • In artistic endeavors, the petals of Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' may be used to create botanical prints or as a natural source of pigment in watercolor painting.
    • Using the stems and leaves of the iris, one can create an eco-friendly paper pulp for making artisanal paper goods.
    • These plants can be utilized in educational settings, such as botanical gardens or school projects, to illustrate plant biology and hybridization processes.
    • As a means of natural pest control in gardens, 'Robin Goodfellow' irises can attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies while deterring certain pests with their scent.

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

    • Faith: The iris often symbolizes faith and hope, and with its name 'Robin Goodfellow' (MTB), it may remind people of the mischievous but hopeful spirit of folklore.
    • Wisdom: Irises are frequently associated with wisdom. Given its name, 'Robin Goodfellow' may embody the cunning wit often seen in mythological figures.
    • Courage: This iris can be a symbol of courage, representing boldness and bravery in face of challenges, reminiscent of trickster characters who are not afraid to deviate from the norm.
    • Royalty: Irises have been linked to royalty and regal bearing, and the 'Robin Goodfellow' variety might suggest a playful sovereignty.

Every 2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3 years
Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises, like 'Robin Goodfellow', require thorough watering during their growing season, especially when rainfall is scarce. It's best to water deeply once a week, providing about an inch of water which equates to roughly 0.6 gallons per square yard. Ensure that the soil is well-drained as sitting in water can cause root rot. Watering in the morning is ideal, as it allows leaves time to dry out during the day. During dormancy in winter, watering should be reduced significantly.

  • sunLight

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises such as 'Robin Goodfellow' thrive in full sunlight. They need at least six hours of direct sun per day for best bloom performance. If you live in a very hot climate, providing light afternoon shade can prevent them from getting scorched.

  • thermometerTemperature

    'Robin Goodfellow' Miniature Tall Bearded Irises perform well in a wide range of temperatures but prefer a temperate climate. They can survive winter temperatures as low as about 14 degrees Fahrenheit and can handle summer heat up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing temperatures are between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises like 'Robin Goodfellow' should be pruned to promote health and reblooming. Remove spent flower stems after blooming to prevent seed formation. Cut back foliage to about 6 inches in late fall to minimize overwintering pests and diseases. Dividing clumps every 3 to 5 years in late summer encourages vigorous growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, commonly known as Iris 'Robin Goodfellow,' thrives best in well-draining, loamy soil rich in organic matter. The ideal soil mix for this iris should consist of two parts loam, one part peat, and one part perlite or sand to ensure proper drainage. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Irises like Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' typically require division and repotting every three to four years. This prevents overcrowding and rejuvenates the plants, ensuring vigorous growth and blooming. The best time for repotting is soon after flowering in summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Miniature Tall Bearded Iris or Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' prefers outdoor conditions with average garden humidity levels. It does not require any special humidity requirements indoors, as long as the environment mimics normal outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, well-draining soil, and cooler temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, divide every 3-4 years.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' (MTB), commonly known as a Miniature Tall Bearded Iris, begins its life with seed germination, typically after a period of dormancy and stratification. The sprouted seeds give rise to small bulbs or rhizomes, which gradually mature into juvenile plants with a rosette of leaves. As the plants grow, they enter a vegetative stage marked by the development of a strong root system and foliage growth; during this phase, they store energy for flowering. The reproductive stage follows, typically in late spring to early summer, when the iris blossoms with distinctive, colorful flowers that are relevant for attracting pollinators. After pollination and flower fade, seed pods form, mature, and eventually disperse seeds, completing the cycle. Lastly, the iris enters a period of dormancy during colder months, conserving energy for the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • The Iris 'Robin Goodfellow' is best propagated through division, a process which is typically done in the late summer after the blooming season has ended. During this time, the clumps of rhizomes can be lifted from the ground with a spade and gently broken apart by hand or cut with a sharp knife. Each section should include at least one fan of leaves and a portion of the rhizome. The divisions should be replanted promptly at the same soil depth they were growing previously, spaced about 8 to 18 inches (approximately 20 to 45 centimeters) apart to allow for adequate growth. Watering well after planting will help to establish the new plants. This method of division helps to rejuvenate the plants and encourage more vigorous bloom in the following seasons.