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Median Iris Society
Median Iris Glossary

Abbreviations for different types of Irises:
Median Iris Heights

Iris Classifications
Abbr. Definition
MedianAll bearded iris classes (SDBs, IBs, BBs, and MTBs) between 8 and 27.5 inches.
MDBMiniature Dwarf Bearded, to 8" tall, the first bearded to bloom in earliest spring.
SDBStandard Dwarf Bearded, 8 - 16" tall, blooms in early spring.
IBIntermediate Bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, generally blooms after SDBs and before TBs.
MTBMiniature Tall Bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, the flower is no more than 6" combined width + height, generally blooms with the TBs.
BBBorder Bearded, 16 - 27.5" tall, blooms with the TBs.
TBTall Bearded, more than 27.5" tall, blooms in mid to late spring.
AR or (A)Aril iris; this name refers to oncocyclus and regelia species.
ABArilbred, an iris hybrid that is part aril and part bearded iris.
AMAril-med/Arilbred-med or Aril-median/Arilbred-median, shorter AR or AB irises that are crosses between Aril/Arilbred & dwarf or median irises, and that also meet the height requirements for classification as a median iris
REvarieties that produce more than one crop of bloom stalks in a single growing season.
HISHistoric Iris cultivars are any iris introduced over 30 years ago.

Parts of an Iris Flower
Part Definition
Standards (S)The upturned three petals, (technically called sepals) that surround the three style arms.
Falls (F)The downturned three petals, (correctly called petals) that possess beards. These may also be horizontally flared or flat instead of downturned).
Beards (B)Elongate groups of fuzzy hairs in the middle at the upper base of all three falls.
Space Age (SA)Iris have something extra, beard appendages called horns, spoons or flounces.
SpoonsAppendages extending from the tip of the beards that widen into spoon shaped petaloids.
HornsA protrusion or extension of the beards, often ending in a point or may be hair covered.
FlouncesWide, folded, often canoe or fan shaped appendages extending from the tips of the beards.
HaftsAreas on each side of the narrow of the falls, on each side of the beards.
ShouldersThe areas on the arching upper middle part of the falls on each side just beyond the haft areas.
PistilThe style arms with stigmatic lips and the ovary. The female flower parts.
ClawThe narrow base of the standard and fall, the expanded leaf-like part is called the blade.
OvaryThe enlarged green, three-chambered structure enclosing the ovules where fertilization occurs.
SpathesThe pair of modified green leaves that enclose the flower bud, usually turning tan after it blooms.
StamenThe anther plus its attachment filament. The anthers contain the granular pollen. The male flower parts.
RhizomeBrownish, potato-looking, fleshy root.

Season of Bloom
VE = Very EarlyE = EarlyM = MidseasonL = LateVL = Very Late

Descriptive Terms
Term Definition
SelfStandards, style arms and falls are the same color, as a complete self they have the same color beards.
AmoenaWhite standards and anthocyanin pigmented falls.
Reverse AmoenaAnthocyanin pigmented standards and white falls.
Emma Cook patternAn amoena pattern with white standards and narrow anthocyanin pigmentation bordered falls.
BicolorStandards are a different color than the falls.
BitoneStandards are a lighter shade of color than the falls.
NeglectaBlue or purple bitones with standards a lighter shade of the color of the falls.
Reverse bitoneA bitone with the standards a darker shade of the same color as the lighter falls.
BlendCombination of two or more colors, can be smoothly or unevenly mixed.
VariegataYellow standards and maroon or brown falls.
PlicataStippled, dotted, or stitched margins of anthocyanin pigmentation on lighter ground color.
LuminataThe reverse pattern of a plicata, with darker ground color and white edges, veins and around beards.
GlaciataThese lack all anthocyanin pigments and are pure whites, yellows, pinks, or oranges, formerly called ices.
SubstanceThickness and resilient tensile strength of the flower parts.
TextureSurface sheen or finish, such as velvety or satiny finish of the petals.
Diamond dustedTiny, conical raised areas across the petal surface that shine like diamonds in the light.
Silver liningStandards and falls have raised areas on the edges that reflects light in a shining light.
WashObvious or definite overlay of one color on another.
InfusionFaint or subtle overlay of one color on another.
SunburstWhite or light streaks fanning out on the falls around, and sometimes beyond, the beards.
SpotDarker area around and below the beard on lighter or different colored falls.
SignalAn area or patch of contrasting color below the beards (usually on arils, and some beardless varieties).
ZonalA distinct white or light area around the beards in the middle of the falls.