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Pardanthopsis (Vesper Iris)

More Information About Pardanthopsis

Pardanthopsis is an irid genus native to China, Mongolia, Korea and Siberia that is so closely related to Iris that many people consider them to be cogeneric. Consisting of a single species, Pardanthopsis dichotoma (aka Iris dichotoma) produces large numbers of small, blue, iris-like flowers starting in summer.

The plant known today as Pardanthopsis was first described by Linneaus in 1773 as Iris dichotoma and based on morphological studies in 1972 was moved into its own genus by LW Lenz. Then in 2001, based on DNA analysis, Pardanthopsis was merged back into the genus Iris. This sort of taxonomic wishy-washiness is quite common in the plant world and causes all kinds of confusion among gardeners. So we will continue to call the plant Pardanthopsis to make things easier for you.

Pardanthopsis is called the Vesper Iris because the flowers open in early evening, at the same time as vesper prayers are recited. Another claim to fame of this plant is that it can be crossed with its close relative Belamcanda chinensis (aka Iris domestica) to create the Candy Lily, xPardancanda, which we also occasionally sell.

Pardanthopsis prefers sun and fertile soil and tends to be a short-lived perennial, but produces plenty of seed for you to keep it going in your garden. The flowers open fairly quickly in early evening over the span of just a few minutes, so you can watch the magical procession in real time if you'd like. Pardanthopsis pairs well with other evening bloomers like Cestrum and Jasminum in a night garden. Try combining the evening flowering Pardanthopsis with a morning flowering Hemerocallis to create your own lauds and vespers in your garden. When you are ready to buy Pardanthopsis for your garden, check out our online list of Pardanthopsis for sale below.