Iris chrysographes

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Iris chrysographes
Iris chrysographes 138-8433.jpg
The Black IRIS
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Sibericae
Species: I. chrysographes
Binomial name
Iris chrysographes
  • Iris dykesii Stapf
  • Limniris chrysographes (Dykes) Rodion.
  • Limniris dykesii (Stapf) Rodion. [1]

Iris chrysographes, commonly known as the black iris, is a plant species that belongs to the genus Iris. It is native to S China and Myanmar (Burma),[2] growing in meadows, streamsides, hillsides and forest margins.

Other irises with black flowers include Iris nigricans (the national flower of Jordan), Iris petrana, Iris atrofusca, Iris atropurpurea, Iris susiana, and some varieties of Iris germanica.


Horticultural classification: Sino-Siberian Iris, Beardless Iris.


Herbaceous perennial with creeping rhizomes. Leaves linear and grayish green, to 70 cm long. Flowering stems 25–50 cm, hollow. Flowers reddish violet to very dark violet, almost velvety black, 6–9 cm in diameter, outer tepals usually with golden yellow stripes. Deliciously fragrant. Flowers in June to July.


Iris chrysographes is easily cultivated and requires a fertile soil which does not dry out during the growth period. Grow in full sun. Hardy to USDA zone 4. Propagation by seeds or division in the spring. Cultivars must be divided. For cooler areas plants do best if planted in the spring.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3][4]


Some cultivars are grown, mainly "black" flowered clones under names as 'Black Beauty', 'Black Knight',[5] 'Black' (syn. 'Black Form', an invalid name), 'Ellenbank Nightshade', 'Stjerneskud' and 'Kew Black'. 'Rubella' is purplish violet. Iris chrysographes has been used in a number of hybrids with other species.


  1. ^ "Iris chrysographes Dykes is an accepted name". 23 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "A Checklist of the Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, and Climbers of Myanmar. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Volume 45: 1-590" (PDF). Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Iris chrysographes". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 53. Retrieved 13 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Iris chrysographes Black Knight". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

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