Before the development of modern tall bearded irises, Iris pallida was one of the most widely grown garden irises in European and American gardens. Once you've seen it in a congenial garden setting you won't have any trouble understanding why. Nor will you have any trouble understanding why so many of us still grow and cherish this iris. I'll stick my neck out and say if I could have only one tall bearded iris, this would be it.
The flowers are not huge in the way of the modern hybrids, and the overall shape of the flower is basic bearded iris. The poise is rigidly upright, and the flower is taller than it is broad. The fragrance is intense and wonderful. The color is marvelous. While photographing the plant this year, I was not paying attention to the background (in this case masses of tulips). When I got home and saw the image of the iris against the varied tulip colors (but especially the soft pink, salmon orange of tulip' Menton'), I realized the potential this plant has in a mixed garden setting.