Spuria Iris Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' (Spuria)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
iris 'Sunrise in Sonora'


Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora', a member of the Spuria iris category, boasts a striking appearance with a vivid display of colors. The petals exhibit warm tones reminiscent of a desert sunrise, blending yellows, oranges, and subtle hints of reddish-brown. The plant has long, slender leaves that elegantly arch outwards, providing a lush green backdrop that contrasts beautifully with the vibrant blooms. Each flower consists of three upright petals, known as standards, and three downward-curving petals, called falls. The falls are often adorned with vein-like patterns and a splash of color that enhances their ornamental appeal. The center of the bloom typically features a contrasting color, with the possibility of highlighting or accentuating the throat of the flower, presenting a captivating focus. This iris exudes a refined grace, with each stem supporting multiple blooms that add to the visual impact of the plant. As it matures, the clump of leaves and stems creates a dense cluster that adds texture and depth to garden spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Spuria Iris, Butterfly Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' (Spuria).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Spuria Iris, which 'Sunrise in Sonora' is a variety of, is considered mildly toxic if ingested. The plant contains compounds that can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed. The rhizomes are typically the most toxic part of the plant. It is advisable to handle the plant with care, as contact with the sap can sometimes result in skin irritation. Accidental ingestion should be taken seriously, and medical advice should be sought.

    • To pets

      The Spuria Iris is toxic to pets. Ingesting this plant can lead to symptoms such as salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea. The rhizomes contain the highest concentration of toxins. If your pet ingests any part of a Spuria Iris, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately to minimize the risk of poisoning and to receive appropriate treatment.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [91 cm]

    • Spread

      2 feet [60 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Adds vibrant color and unique beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it requires minimal supplemental watering, making it suitable for water-wise gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires relatively little upkeep beyond occasional deadheading and division.
    • Attracts Wildlife: Draws in pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden styles, including mixed borders and cottage gardens.
    • Seasonal Interest: Provides a splash of color in late spring to early summer when it blooms.
    • Soil Adaptability: Can thrive in a range of soil types, as long as they are well-draining.

  • 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 fibrous leaves of the Spuria can be used to make small ropes or twines for garden use.
    • Due to its tall and robust nature, Spuria can function as a natural support for climbing plants or vegetables in a garden.
    • Spuria leaves and stems, when dried, can be incorporated into floral arrangements or crafts for added texture.
    • Spuria's seed pods can be collected and used for decorative purposes in dried flower arrangements or as part of a natural seed collection display.
    • When planted en masse, Spuria irises can be utilized as a privacy screen or windbreak in landscape design.
    • The blooms of Spuria can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, with colors varying based on the acidity or alkalinity of the dye bath.
    • Spuria iris petals can be pressed and incorporated into paper making for decorative paper crafts.
    • The strong vertical lines of the Spuria iris can be used by artists and photographers as a compositional element in their works.
    • In permaculture gardens, Spuria plants can be part of insectary beds, attracting beneficial insects that help with pest control.
    • Dried Spuria plants can serve as kindling or a component in creating natural fire starters for campfires or wood stoves.

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

    • Hopes and Dreams: The Iris is symbolic of hope and cherished dreams given its vibrant colors that resemble the brilliant shades of a sunrise.
    • Royalty and Elegance: Historically, Irises have been associated with kings and royal families, symbolizing sophistication and regal presence.
    • Wisdom and Valor: In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Iris was a messenger of the gods and a symbol of communication and wisdom, while the blade-shaped foliage represents valor.
    • Faith and Trust: The Iris often signifies faith, trust, and belief in various cultures, reflecting the essence of deep spiritual connectivity.
    • Transition and Change: As the Iris blooms in the transition from spring to summer, it has come to symbolize change and the delicate balance between two states.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late summer to fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For a Spuria Iris like 'Sunrise in Sonora', regular watering during the growing season is essential, aiming to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. During the active growth period in spring and summer, water approximately once per week with about 1.5 to 2 gallons per plant, depending on the weather conditions. Reduce watering after blooming ends, and during the dormant season in winter, water sparingly, just enough to prevent the soil from completely drying out, possibly only requiring a few gallons per month.

  • sunLight

    Spuria Iris, including 'Sunrise in Sonora', thrive best in full sun. This plant requires at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to perform optimally. Choose a spot in your garden that receives plenty of unfiltered, direct sunlight throughout the day for the healthiest growth and most vibrant blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spuria Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' tolerates a wide range of temperatures but grows best with daytime temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can usually withstand temporary dips down to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit but should be protected from prolonged exposure to temperatures below this threshold. In general, keep the plant in an environment that avoids extremes – not too hot over summer and not too cold during winter.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Spuria Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' after blooming, typically in late spring or early summer, to maintain plant health and appearance. Remove spent flower stalks at the base to prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production. Cut back the foliage by about half in autumn to tidy the plant and reduce overwintering disease issues. Pruning also helps to stimulate new growth for the following season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Spuria Iris should be well-draining, moderately fertile, and slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mixture containing loamy garden soil, sand, and compost is ideal to provide the nutrients and drainage necessary for the plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Spuria Iris typically do not need to be repotted frequently; they are best repotted every two to three years to prevent overcrowding and to refresh the soil. Divide rhizomes during repotting.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Spuria Iris do not require high humidity; they are tolerant of typical outdoor humidity levels in their growing zones. No specific humidity attention is needed beyond natural conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

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

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, water sparingly.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' begins with seed germination, which occurs when the right conditions of moisture and temperature are met. After germination, the seedlings grow, developing a root system and foliage through the vegetative stage. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage, typically in late spring to early summer, where it develops distinctive flowers in shades of yellow, bronze, and violet. Following pollination, which can be aided by insects, the plant produces seed pods containing seeds that will disperse to create new plants. The Iris 'Sunrise in Sonora' then enters a period of dormancy, often in response to colder temperatures in the fall or winter, where it conserves energy and resources. With the return of favorable conditions in the following growing season, the plant breaks dormancy, beginning the cycle anew with fresh growth.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to fall

    • The most popular method for propagating Spuria irises, like 'Sunrise in Sonora', is by dividing their rhizomes. This is typically done in late summer, after the blooming period has ended and the plant has gone dormant. Gardeners should carefully dig up the clumps of irises, taking care to minimize damage to the rhizomes and roots. The clumps should be broken apart by hand or cut with a clean, sharp knife into individual sections, ensuring that each division has at least one growth point or fan of leaves attached. The divisions should then be replanted at a depth of about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in well-draining soil, spaced around 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) apart to allow for growth and air circulation. Proper watering after planting is essential to help establish the new divisions.