|Bearded Irises have thick surface rhizomes, giving rise to fans of sword-shaped, usually broad green leaves, and simple or branched flower stems. Most bear multiple flowers per stem. The flowers have well-developed standards and falls, with a prominent "beard" of white or colored hairs in the center of each fall petal. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizer. Keep mulches away from leaves and rhizomes.
Taller cultivars may require staking. Water moderately during growth periods; keep dry while dormant. Dwarf bearded irises are 8 to 16 inches tall, producing flowers 3 to 4 inches across, in early to mid season. Miniature dwarf bearded cultivars are the first irises to bloom and grow to 8 inches tall, with flowers 1-3 inches across. 'Small Wonder' is pure soft blue with pale beard.