For understanding the influence of initial concentrations of pesticides in the water body on removal efficiency of the contaminant by aquatic plants, one hydroponics experiment was used to investigate the influence of initial concentration (1-16 mg L(-1)) on toxicity and chlorpyrifos removal potential of Iris pseudacorus for 20 days under greenhouse conditions. An increased sensitivity to and reduced removal rate for chlorpyrifos were observed with increasing chlorpyrifos concentration. The relative growth rate (RGR) of I. pseudacorus was significantly inhibited in the presence of 4, 8 and 16 mg L(-1) chlorpyrifos, and a negative relationship was also found between RGR and initial pesticide concentration. The half-life of chlorpyrifos was shortened in the hydroponic system with plants, indicating that I. pseudacorus accelerated chlorpyrifos removal from water. But the contribution of the plant to chlorpyrifos removal in the hydroponic phytoremediation system decreased with the increase of initial concentration of chlorpyrifos. The results also indicated that I. pseudacorus can efficiently eliminate chlorpyrifos and may ultimately serve as phytoremediation agents in the natural water body.