Iris Color Classification

The 1939 checklist included a color chart listing the codes that irises had been grouped under for purposes of the classification. Almost every iris in the checklist had a color code applied to it. The color chart was revised in 1949 to include even more classifications. This is an attempt to illustrate visually what each of the classes in the 1939 color chart look like using the photos from our gallery of pre-1940 varieties.

The color codes in bold print in the chart below open a page of photos of irises in that color class. Iris are grouped by primary color, secondary color, and color type. Within each of those designations (with the exception of some of the white classes) they are further broken down into color tones of light, medium or dark. 'Rev.' added to the symbol letters means reversed, i.e. the darker tone is above the lighter. Each page will open in a new window - please close it to return. (note: if your browser blocks pop-up windows you will need to disable this tool while viewing this page)

Color Group Subordinate Color Tones
Predominant Color: Blue Toned Yellow Toned Pink to Red Toned
Color Type: Self Feathered Bicolor or Bitone Self Feathered Bicolor or Bitone Self Feathered Bicolor or Bitone
WHITE

WW/W1

W2

W3

W4

W5

W6

W7

W8

W9

BLUE

B1

B2

B3

B6

B7

B8

B9

RED

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

R9

BLEND
shot or squalens

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

S8

S9

YELLOW

.

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Y8

Y9


Please see coresponding photos in the gallery for photo credits.