Bearded Iris vs. Dutch Iris: All You Need to Know

Iris flowers are unique, and they come in a wide variety of magical colors. There are around 300 varieties in the Iris genus. Bearded Iris and Dutch Iris are among the most popular flowers in the genus. So, what are the differences between Bearded Iris vs. Dutch Iris?

The Bearded Iris belongs to the bearded group of Iris flowers, whereas the Dutch Iris belongs to the beardless group. What’s more, Bearded Iris can grow up to 3 feet, while Dutch Iris can grow up to only 2 feet. Both are low-maintenance, but the Bearded Iris tends to be easier to grow.

Bearded Iris

Do you want to find out more about the differences between the two plants? In today’s post, we prepared a full Bearded Iris vs. Dutch Iris comparison. Let’s jump into the details right away.

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris, also known as Iris germanica, is perhaps the most popular one in the genus. That’s because it’s often the easiest Iris to grow.

The plant’s hardiness zones are 3–9 (USDA). Bearded Iris usually blooms in spring. The flowers come in a wide range of eye-catching colors.

That includes yellow, white, pink, red, orange, blue, brown, and pink. You can also spot flowers in a combination of different colors.

What’s good about this plant is that it’s low-maintenance, which makes it perfect for beginners. It also doesn’t suffer from any major problems.

Generally, Bearded Iris thieves in full sun. The less sunlight it gets, the fewer flowers it’s likely to bloom.

The Iris germanica loves moisture. However, it requires well-draining soil to avoid the risk of root rot.

Bearded Iris Varieties

There are many types of Bearded Iris flowers. We subcategorize them into groups according to their botanical structure.

Here’s a list of the different types of Bearded Irises:

  • Miniature Bearded
  • Short Bearded
  • Intermediate Bearded
  • Tall Bearded
  • Border Bearded

Bearded Iris Uses

Bearded Irises are known for their fascinating look. Not only that, but they also have many beneficial uses. Let’s check them out.

1.    Medicinal Uses

The roots of the Bearded Iris were popular in traditional medicine. They can help with stomach problems and Alzheimer’s disease.

2.    In Fragrances

Bearded Iris blooms have a unique fragrance that pairs well with many scents. For that reason, we use them to make many types of fragrances.

3.    In Cosmetics

We use Bearded Iris flowers in many cosmetic products. That includes essential oils and body lotions. They can also help with some skin and hair conditions.

Also Check: Biblical Meaning of Orchid Flower

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris, also known as Iris x hollandica, is a hybrid bulbous Iris. Don’t let the name fool you, as it doesn’t reflect its place of origin. The name is in reference to the Dutch growers who hybridized the plant.

blue Dutch Iris flowers

The unique plant is developed from species native to Spain, Portugal, and North Africa. The Dutch growers used two varieties of Iris xiphium from Spain and Portugal to cross them with the North African Iris tingitana.

The hybridization took place in the 19th century by a Dutch bulb firm called “Van Tubergen.”

The Dutch Iris grows in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, and it usually blooms in spring. What’s unique about this plant is that it usually blooms multicolored flowers.

The magnificent flowers come in many colors, including blue, white, purple, bronze, gold, yellow, and rose pink. Due to their spectacular colors and light fragrance, Dutch Iris makes a great cut flower.

Generally, it’s a low-maintenance plant. However, it’s susceptible to some diseases, including mosaic virus, root rot, leaf spot, and iris borers. Similar to the Bearded Iris, this plant thrives in full sun. It also requires light, well-draining soil.

Dutch Iris Varieties

Here’s a list of some popular Dutch Iris varieties and their colors:

  • White Excelsior: Pearl white with a yellow flame-like stripe.
  • Blue Magic Dutch Iris: Dark violet with a yellow flame-like stripe.
  • Yellow Queen: Full yellow.
  • Apollo Dutch Iris: Blueish white with yellow markings.

Dutch Iris Uses

Dutch Irises are amazing cut flowers, as they come in unique colors and have a light, exquisite fragrance.

In addition, they have a spread of ¼ to ½ feet wide, which makes them perfect as flower beds.

Read more: Baptisia Flower Meaning: All You Need to Know

Bearded Iris vs. Dutch Iris: Key Differences

Although Bearded Iris and Dutch Iris belong to the same genus, there are a lot of key differences between them.

Appearance and Identification

The Bearded Iris has a fuzzy patch that looks like a beard at the base of the falls. You can easily identify a Bearded Iris by locating the lower petal and checking the center of the flower.

If the petals are fuzzy, it’s a Bearded Iris. Additionally, Bearded Iris grows from the rhizome of the plant.

Bearded Iris flower

On the other hand, Dutch Iris is bulbous, which means it grows from bulbs. Of course, it doesn’t have a fuzzy patch like the Bearded Iris. You can confirm that the plant is a Dutch Iris if it has a bulb and blooms mid-summer.


Both plants are low-maintenance. However, the Bearded Iris tends to be easier to grow. It’s also resilient and less susceptible to diseases.


On average, Bearded Irises can grow up to three feet. On the other hand, Dutch Irises tend to be a little shorter, as they can grow up to around two feet only.

Wrapping Up

So, how’s the Bearded Iris different from Dutch Iris?

Both plants belong to the Iris genus, but they have quite a few differences. For starters, Bearded Iris is more resilient and requires less maintenance. So, it’s a better choice for a beginner.

Additionally, Dutch Iris grows from the bulbs of the plant, while Bearded Irish grows from the rhizome part. Further, as the name suggests, Bearded Irises have a fuzzy patch that looks like a beard. It can help you identify the plant in no time.

When it comes to height, the Bearded Iris tends to be slightly taller, as it can grow up to three feet. On the other hand, the Dutch Iris can only grow up to two feet.