Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Grow Me Instead

Japanese water iris

Iris ensata

About This Species

Zone 4a

Grow me instead of Yellow flag iris, Flowering rush

Japanese water iris (as the name suggests) is very adaptable to standing water, making it a good choice for planting in or near ponds or poorly-drained sites. Bright purple-blue flowers rebloom throughout the spring and summer season, and the foliage is an attractive bright green. Japanese water irises grow in clumps to 75 cm tall. This is one of the most aquatic species of irises available – it will not do well in dry soils.

When selecting non-invasive plants for your garden, be sure to look for those that are suitable for your location, including moisture requirements, hardiness zone, and avoidance of known bear attractants among other factors.

Plant Special Features

  • Fire smart
  • Bear smart
  • Pollinator friendly

Moisture Requirements


Moist but well-drained conditions