Welcome to the home of

The British Iris Society     social_facebook_box_blue_32.png  social_twitter_box_blue_32.png

Regional groups

There are presently two regional groups in the BIS: the Kent Group and the West and Midlands Group. There are also two specialist groups: one concentrating on the iris species and the other on beardless irises. Each group operates with a chairman and committee, and the regional groups have shows, plant sales and meetings with specialist lecturers. It is not obligatory to be a BIS member to join any of the groups, but to appreciate all the benefits available, new members are always encouraged to join the parent society.

Kent Group

The Kent Group has been established for over 50 years, and has an active membership drawn from Kent and the surrounding counties. Membership of the group is free until the end of the current year for new members of the B.I.S. who live in the group’s catchment area.
Members get a quarterly newsletter and during the winter months are invited to attend talks on irises and iris related subjects which are held in different parts of the area. We also hold 2 shows a year and a bring and buy garden party at which plants can be obtained by auction.
In addition to weekend trips to gardens in other parts of the country, the group has organized longer visits to France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and New Zealand.

To join, please contact:
Wendy Payne, Shirley House, Tumbler's Hill, Sutton Valence, Kent ME17 3AF

West & Midlands Group

Founded in 1974, this Group gives people who love and grow irises in an area covering the Midlands and the West Country a chance to meet. Some are experts, some are beginners, but we all enjoy sharing our knowledge and problems, and talking to others who have the same interest.
Meetings are held four or five times a year for talks, demonstrations and visits to gardens throughout the area to see irises of all kinds.
We hold an annual show, and a newsletter is issued regularly to keep us in touch. If you are looking for a particular iris, then our plant sale may be the place to find it.
The Group is a very friendly one, not a large organization, but one where a personal welcome can be given every member.

To join, please contact:
Rex Harden, 56 Pirton Lane, Churchdown, Gloucester GL3 2SJ. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Species Group

This was founded in 1965, because a number of iris growers found that there was very little useful information about how and where the wild forms could be grown successfully. At that time, many new species were being brought back to the UK from Mediterranean areas, and more recently from China and Mongolia, and with older introductions were being salvaged from neglected gardens, it became necessary to try and separate the true species from the hybrids and cultivars.
To those who enjoy growing the iris and irid species, the Species group offers membership and the chance of surprising discoveries from the plants and seed it offers for sale.

To join, please contact:
David Stephens, Court House Farm, Westbury sub Mendip, Somerset, BA5 1HAA
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Group for Beardless Irises

This Group was formed in 1976 as the SS&J to encourage growers of beardless iris cultivars, which are among the easiest and most satisfying of irises for many gardens. Originally members concentrated on the Siberian, Spuria and Japanese irises (hence SS&J). Then the Pacificas were added and now many other irises are becoming equally popular.
Since the Group was founded there has been an increasing interest in growing and hybridising these plants. Scientific work has added to their garden value by making it possible to cross species previously believed to be incompatible.
As a result, the Group now has a very wide range of interests to offer and to reflect this progress the name was changed to the Group for Beardless Irises of the British Iris Society.
We can suggest old and new plants for growing in all kinds of gardens and different types of pools. Naturally, members offer to sell plants and there is the chance to buy seeds from home and abroad. An extensive library is available to UK members and the Librarian will help with other enquiries from any member.
While the Group, as such, has no regular meetings, members can be found at the various shows of the British Iris Society, or at The Spring Gardening Show, Malvern and are happy to talk about their special interests. A newsletter is published with material from abroad as well as the British Isles providing opportunities for members to air problems that they have found growing irises and to contribute their solutions to other members' problems.

To join, please contact:
The Hon. Membership Secretary, Aulden Farm, Aulden, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0JT.