Iris ensata ‘Rowden Autocrat’ (Japanese Iris)

Showy white iris with purple veins and yellow signal

I’d wanted to visit RHS Rosemoor to see how far reality lived up the reputation of its rose garden (no complaints) and for the chance to explore other collections too: of irises, for example. The attractive purple veining and the voluptuous flower form of the one above was particularly striking.

Iris ensata ‘Rowden Autocrat’ was introduced in 1999 by Rowden Gardens Nursery in the UK (since sold and renamed Tor Garden Plants) and is listed and described by the American Iris Society here.

If you like this type of iris, but are unable to source this particular one, there are many other forms of Iris ensata, all with the characteristic yellow signal. Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm’s website has some great advice on the different flower colours available and about growing and dividing Japanese Iris.

Shared for Becky’s Lines&Squares and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Update: Since this post was written, the breeder, John Carter, has been in touch via my friend Barry Glick to explain that after their nursery was sold to Emma and Tom Robinson in 2016, they gave Rosemoor samples of almost all of their irises and are delighted that Rosemoor are displaying them together in a newly created garden. 

37 Replies to “Iris ensata ‘Rowden Autocrat’ (Japanese Iris)”

  1. Such a handsome flower! I see it needs a damp spot, so despite my love of irises, I wouldn’t be able to grow an Iris ensata in my garden! I’ll admire from afar.

  2. What a beauty, Susan. Those veins are so much more striking than any iris I’ve ever seen before. I don’t think I’ve seen any in the Royal Botanic Gardens either. Not sure whether we get them here in Australia, but maybe specialist nurseries stock that variety.

    I love the purple against the green stems nice contrast.

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