About us

A long tradition of promoting irises in Great Britain

The British Iris Society (BIS) was founded in 1922 to promote the cultivation of Irises. It is a registered charity.

Its aims and objectives are still consistent with those of its founders, namely:

  • Promote, improve and extend the cultivation of irises and other Iridaceae as appropriate.
  • Encourage the pursuit of knowledge relating to the family of Iridaceae.
  • Organise displays, exhibitions and meetings open to the public.
  • Collaborate with Botanic Gardens, Horticultural Societies, Registration Authorities for Irises and other similar bodies, both national and international, in any matters relating to the genus Iris and other Iridaceae as deemed appropriate.
  • Share and exchange information, facilities and services with Iris Societies in other countries.

Its membership grows a wide range of plants and it is often said that there is an iris for every soil condition. Some members also continue the long tradition of breeding new varieties while others work hard to preserve historic ones. The BIS counts a number of Plant Heritage National Collection Holders amongst its members.

The BIS maintains close relationships with independent specialist groups who promote particular aspects of the world of irises and geographical groups.

The BIS as part of a global community

Across the world people love irises and grow them, breed them and preserve them. Here are some of the other groups and individuals we work with: