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Welcome to the official Canadian Iris Society (CIS) website 

Photo: Siberian iris; CAPE COD BOYS - (Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks) 2009, M & RE, 27". Large, wide, blousy flowers in dappled shades of blue-violet with charming yellow signals, often with darker rims around the falls. A long bloomer, from mid to late season and often repeating. Vigorous grower.
HM 2012. Rebloomed in Southern Ontario during July 2015. (photo by Chris Hollinshead)

Welcome to the official
Canadian Iris Society (CIS) website

Who belongs to the Canadian Iris Society?
...outstanding iris specialists, gardening experts and horticulturists are all members but the Society is primarily for the amateur gardener who enjoys growing irises.

Mission Statement  
The Canadian Iris Society (CIS) is a non-profit organization with the objective to encourage, improve and extend the cultivation of the genus iris and to collaborate with other societies for this purpose.

Love irises? Would you like to become a supporting member of the CIS? Please go to the Membership area of the CIS website for full information. Thank you for being a CIS member.

Looking for a Canadian local or regional iris club/society?
Connect with other iris people in your own area. For information on this please go to the Regional Iris Societies area of the CIS website. Listed here you will find local iris/regional iris societies listed by province, plus various special interest iris societies with a focus on a specific type of iris.

2018 CIS Iris Purchase Program:

This year the CIS will again offer a selection of special high quality iris plants for your growing pleasure. This program helps support the activity and function of the Canadian Iris Society (CIS) and its registered affiliates, a further plus is that you get yourself some very nice flowers at the same time too!

For all the program details please go to the Iris Sales Events area of the website and there you will be able to obtain a list of the available irises for 2018, the color mini-catalogue of the iris varieties offered and an order form will be available to download.

The sale opening date: So that everyone has a fair and equal chance to review the listing and obtain the available plants, orders will only be received from June 1st onwards, the start date of the sale. The sale will end July 15.

As the program proceeds; some varieties will become sold out, please check the sold out listing prior to placing your order. The sold out listing is found on the Iris Sales Events page of the website along with all the other sale details.

Happy Gardening in 2018!
CIS website updated: May 14, 2018

Canada Weather
Check the weather across Canada from coast to coast from here:




Forecast: ...iris time in the garden... watch for iris bloom in your area!

Springtime will officially begin with the Vernal Equinox on Sunday, March 20, 2018 at 12:15 PM EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. The Vernal Equinox brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from Latin meaning “equal night.” Thus the time or date (twice each year) at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length.

CIS Newsletter:

The Spring 2018 CIS Newsletter has been published and sent out to our current CIS membership.

As always, we hope that you will find the latest issue useful, interesting and informative. The CIS Newsletter is published four times per year.

If you are not a CIS member and are interested, click here for a sample look at one of our archived issues (Autumn 2014). click to view sample CIS Newsletter


CIS members receive the CIS Newsletter issues either electronically via e-mail distribution or via regular postal mailing. Bonus of the electronic version is that it comes to you sooner and has full color images throughout whereas the printed version is black and white only. You may change your preference any time by communicating your choice via e-mail to the CIS Membership chairman: e-mail: cdniris@gmail.com


If you are a CIS member and for some reason did not receive your issue please contact us. (via e-mail is best.) If you move or change e-mail address please let us know so we can keep your CIS Newsletter coming to you!


For information on becoming a member of the Canadian Iris Society (CIS) please go to the membership area of the website.

Quick Tip on Iris Growing for early Spring (March-April-May)

Springtime is a time of the gardening year that is awaited with great anticipation by iris growers and general gardeners alike. There is an intense inner enjoyment to be had from viewing the new years growth of foliage emerging from the recently frozen ground. Some nice iris bloom is just around the corner.
Specifically regarding irises, there are a few items that need attention. First, a clean up is in order of any garden debris that accumulated over the winter, as you do this check the plantings for any signs of winter damage and resolve these. Types of things to look for are; winter kill (botrytis, a grey-black fungus) carefully remove and dispose those afflicted/do not compost these. Look for winter heave, that is your iris plants standing up out of the ground by the roots! This happens mostly on new plantings ...push them back down and perhaps add extra soil as required. Time to treat for iris borer if you control with chemicals, if you are controlling manually then the debris removal helps to remove any borer eggs that are typically found on the debris. Time to check your garden signage with your plant map in case any moved or disappeared over the winter. Also this is the time to put down any fertilizer around the iris plantings. They will respond well to the extra nutrients. A suggested fertilizer values for iris would be along the lines of 6-10-10, avoid using high nitrogen fertilizer as it can encourage rot problems. Lower first number which is the nitrogen, higher on the other two numbers will help to boost flower production and growth and contains enough nitrogen to provide optimum growth with a lower risk of bacterial soft rot. Take it easy on the fertilizer; a little goes a long way. Alfalfa is also an excellent supplemental addition that provides nice results.

(For more details on specifically fertilizing irises please go to the "Garden Diggings-Decoding Fertilizer" article in the Editorial section of the website) Go to it! Happy garden diggings in 2016. CH

For more on growing irises, please see the Cultural Information area of the CIS website.

Further items regarding iris culture are also available in the Editorial section of the CIS website.

The IRIS FIX for 2016 ...coming soon to your inbox

We are pleased to announce the return in 2016 of "The Iris Fix". The "Iris Fix" is a free e-mail subscription service available between early May and the summer. Each day (usually) you will receive an iris photograph via e-mail to enjoy. This is provided by Don McQueen of London, Ontario from his collection of very nice iris photographs taken in and around his garden. When you have had enough, all you need do is send him an e-mail saying "Thanks, but no thanks" and he will remove you from the mailing list. To subscribe, contact Don at dmcqueen@rogers.com

Shown below is a previous "Iris Fix" photo from May 12, 2014; an example of the very nice iris photos you will receive.

Black Lightning (Chuck Chapman 2009) SDB, 14 inches H, A gorgeous and hardy ruffled black iris with a contrasting violet beard. It has four flowers per stalk and remains in bloom for a long time. Black Lightning has put up extra flower stalks in July, like its pod parent Ruby Eruption, but not enough to be sure that it will rebloom regularly in Ontario. Some more southerly growers will need to try this and let us know if it is a rebloomer. A far better grower then other black SDB that have been tried here. Quickly forms clumps.

Index CIS website: 

We welcome you to explore our CIS website and hope that you will find it a useful resource of information on all things iris! Follow the links that appear across the top of every page to navigate the various areas of the website. Happy Gardening.

History - information on the Canadian Iris Society (CIS), includes historical background.
Calendar of Events - Calendar of Events will be updated to the 2017 info soon
Membership - 2017 CIS membership information
Admin/Contacts - CIS Board of Directors listing and contact information, CIS Board meeting schedule, CIS Committees, CIS Constitution.
News  news of events past, present and future
Editorial various Garden Diggings items
Awards - CIS Awards and also an explanation of the AIS iris awards and a detailed listing for the years 1996-2008 inclusive.
Articles Index - follow this link to find a sub-index of many interesting and useful iris related articles
Cultural Info - follow this link to find growing information/tips and advice on various types of iris: Bearded, Siberian, Japanese. Also a glossary of iris terms; helpful to the understanding of the terminology used when reading iris catalogues and or iris related articles.
Iris Sales Events - details on upcoming various iris sales events
Regional Iris Societies - a listing of Canadian local/regional iris clubs/societies and special interest iris societies
AIS/Canada Information - section provided for the AIS regions functioning within Canada and general related American Iris Society (AIS) information.
Links to further iris information on the Internet. Includes info on Iris-Talk an internet mailing list devoted to the discussion of garden irises. Lots of fun and interaction with people who love irises! Find out how to join in.

Contact the CIS by e-mail at: cdniris@gmail.com
Leave us a comment/message/question and we will get back to you ASAP. Many frequently asked questions regarding iris or growing iris are answered in the articles contained on this website. Please look for information on the website first.