Herbs & Plants

Iris ensata

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Botanical Name: Iris ensata
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Iris series Laevigatae
Species: I. ensata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Iris kaempferi Siebold ex Lem. Iris lactea.

Common Name : Japanese Water Iris

Other common names:
*Japanese flag
*Japanese iris

Habitat : Iris ensata is native to East Asia: —-> China, Japan, Korea, Siberia. It grows in the dry sandy plains near lakes, meadows, clay-solonetz places in steppes and solonetz meadows. Marshes, ditches and wet grassy places.
Iris ensata is an herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80cm in height at a medium rate, forming a dense clump of erect foliage, with rich violet-purple flowers 10-12cm in width in mid summer, the broad, rounded falls each with a small white or yellow midrib.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Cultivation: Grow in moist to wet, deep, humus-rich, acid soil; it thrives at the margins of ponds or streams.
Propagation: Propagate by division of rhizomes from midsummer to early autum.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – the source of an edible starch. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Anthelmintic; Antidote; Appetizer; Depurative; Diuretic; Hepatic; Vermifuge.
The root is alterative, anthelmintic, antidote, appetizer, depurative, diuretic, hepatic and vermifuge.  It is used with other herbs in the treatment of venereal affections, liver complaints and dropsy.
Other Uses:
Basketry; Broom; Fibre; Thatching.

A fibre is obtained from the leaves, a substitute for hemp. It is used for rope and coarse cloth. Also used in thatching and basket making. The root is long and fibrous, it is used for making brooms, brushes etc.

Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.