Iris bucharica

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Iris bucharica
Iris bucharica 01.jpg
I. bucharica, Dresden Botanic Garden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Scorpiris
Section: Iris
Species: I. bucharica
Binomial name
Iris bucharica

Juno bucharica (Foster) Vved.[1]

Iris bucharica is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Scorpiris. It is a bulbous perennial. It is also commonly known as 'Bukhara iris' or 'Corn Leaf Iris'[2][3][4][5] or 'Horned iris'.[3][6][7]

It is pronounced 'bukh-AR-ee-kuh'[8] and named after the city of 'Bukhara' in Uzbekistan, Russia.[9][10]

It was illustrated in the Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Tab. 7111 on 1 April 1890, and was incorrectly described by Baker as a specimen of 'Iris orchioides'.[11] It was then published as Iros bucharica in The Gardeners' Chronicle by Foster in 1902.[12] Michael Foster got the bulbs from the UK bulb merchant 'Van Tubergen' (also based in Harlem, Netherlands).[10] It was also published in 'Flora and Sylva' in 1905.[9]

It was introduced into the UK in 1902.[13]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[14][15]

It is best cultivated in free draining fertile soils which are neutral or slightly alkaline, in full sun.[2][15] The bulbs should be planted in late summer or in the autumn, but only about 5 cm deep (2-3 inches)[2][4] It can grow in gravelly soils in full sun.[10] They prefer to have a period of warmth and dryness during the summer, to prevent the fleshy roots from rotting away.[3][16] This is normally after the foliage dies back in late June or early July.[16]

It is widely cultivated in temperate regions.[13] It is hardy to USDA Zones 5-9[8] or 4-8,[6] or 4-9.[5] But it can be grown in a pot in a greenhouse. Providing it is kept dry in summer and left out in the autumn rains.[16]

It is thought to be fairly easy to grow and will increase (by bulblets), very quickly.[13] This means it will naturalise quickly if growing conditions are favourable. Creating drifts in borders or rock gardens[4] They should be lifted and divided every 3–4 years, to prevent over crowding.[17]

It can be grown from seed as well, but this will take several years before the bulbs are big enough to produce flowers.[15]

Iris orchioides hybridizes freely with 'Iris bucharica' to create a large golden flowered hybrid.[17]

It is deer resistant.[3]


Iris bucharica has a yellowish white bulb[6] (about 2 cm in diameter)[18]

with thin fleshy roots.[19]

It grows up to between 20 and 40 cm (12-16 inches) high.[6][7][10][15][19][20][21]

It has lanceolate (lance-like) leaves,[20] which are blue-green below and glossy green (on the reverse).[2][13] They reach up to 3.5 cm wide and grow up to 20 cm long.[2][7] The leaves are scattered up the flower stems.[20]

Each stem produces up to 7 flowers in spring,[20][21] March[2] or April.[9][17] They bloom in order from the top of the stem, going downwards.[10] They are not scented.[18] The perianth tube is about 4.5–5 cm long.[18][19]

The flowers have white (or creamy white)[2] standards with yellow falls.[9][20][21] The falls sometimes have brown markings and a deep yellow crest.[2][20] The flowers are about 2.5 inches across.[10]

Pure yellow forms are occasionally wrongly labelled as I. orchioides (a different species).[22]

It has semi-circular stigmas, with whitish anthers and pollen.[18]

Iris bucharica, Iris orchioides and Iris warleyensis all have cubiform seeds.[23]


It is native to Central Asia,[7][18] in north-eastern Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan around Bukhara.[6][10] It is endemic to the Gissar Range, in the valleys of Surkhan-darya, Kafirnigan, Vakhsh, Ak-su and Kizyl-su rivers.[18]

It is found in pebble beds and gravely slopes of the lower mountain zone.[18]

It is found at 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level.[10]


  • Iris x ‘Sunny Side Up’

A hybrid of Iris bucharica and Iris magnifica and has yellow and white flowers. It grows up to a height of 50 cm (20"). It is also hardy to Zone 6.[24]

  • Iris bucharica 'Princess' (Foster)

This hybrid flowers in April and May, the fragrant flowers (similar to freesia), are white with yellow blades on the falls. It reaches a height of between 25–35 cm (10-14"). It is also hardy to Zone 6. It is also known as 'Iris orchioides f. bicolor'.[25]


  1. ^ "Iris bucharica Foster". 23 March 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Pascoe, Michael. "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Norris, Kelly D. (February 2013). "Corn Leaf Iris". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Corn Leaf Iris". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Kramb, D.; Taggart, Peter (6 January 2010). "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Teashon, Debbie. "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d John WeathersThe Bulb Book, p. 298, at Google Books
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Klingaman, Gerald (8 April 2011). "Iris bucharica". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "(SPEC) Iris bucharica Fos". (American Iris Society). Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Iridaceae Iris bucharica Foster". (International Plant Names Index). Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d Buchan, Ursula (28 March 2008). "Iris bucharica: How to grow". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Iris bucharica Foster". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Iris bucharica Foster". (Royal Horticultural Society). Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c "Forcing Iris bucharica". 11 April 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c Dykes, W.R. A handbook of Garden Irises. London: Martin Hopkinson Company Ltd. p. 89. ISBN 978-0913728086. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Komarov, V.L. (1935). "Akademiya Nauk SSSR (FLORA of the U.S.S.R.) Vol. IV". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey (Editors) The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification, p. 260, at Google Books
  20. ^ a b c d e f RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  21. ^ a b c Cassidy, George E.; Linnegar, Sidney (1987). Growing Irises (Revised ed.). Bromley: Christopher Helm. p. 67. ISBN 0-88192-089-4. 
  22. ^ "Juno irises A-I". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  23. ^ Dykes, W.R. A Handbook of Garden Irises. London: Martin Hopkinson Company Ltd. p. 89. ISBN 978-0913728086. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Pacific Rim Native Plant Nursery". 12 May 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  25. ^ "IRIS FLEUR-DE-LYS Iridaceae (Iris family)". 12 May 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2014.