With a history that dates back to the times of Greek Gods and Goddesses, means “rainbow,” Named for the Goddess of love, The sacred Iris was considered the symbol of communication and messages.
The Iris is from the Iridaceae Family
Symbolism and Language of Flowers: Faith, Wisdom, Hope, Valor, admiration and Eloquence
France and Florence (Italy) both chose the Iris as their emblem. The Iris is the basis for the fleur-de-lis, one of the most well-known symbols in the world and the symbol of the French Royal Family. Tennessee has also adopted the Iris as the official state flower.
Iris is a garden flower, grown from a bulb with long, flat leaves. With over 200 varieties, Iris come white, yellow, shades of blues and purples, pink and orange, brown and red, and even black.
Some varieties of iris grow in deserts, some in swamps, some in colder climates and many others in temperate climates.
The Iris was also considered a favorite flower of the Muslems who took it to Spain after their conquest in the 8th century.
Irises are grown from bulbs or rhizomes and have long, flat leaves. Irises are used extensively in gardens, especially the bearded varieties. Irises are hardy herbaceous perennials that are easy to cultivate. Irises can be found growing in North America, Asia, Northern Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Iris Facts and Trivia:
Iris roots are used to treat skin diseases. The juice of Irises are also sometimes used as a cosmetic treatment for the removal of freckles.
The Iris is known as Tze Hu-tieh or “The Purple Butterfly” because it reminds the Chinese people of butterfly wings, flapping gently in the breeze.
Purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead on their journey.
Ancient Egyptian kings were enthralled by the iris’s exotic nature. Evidence can be found in the drawings of the flower in a number of Egyptian palaces and historic structures.
During the Middle Ages the Fleur-de-lis was adopted as the recognized national symbol of France.
The Iris has been used to make perfume and as a medicinal remedy.
Iris, Most Beautiful Flower
Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You bloom with the first in Winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist’s desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love you and crown you,
MOST BEAUTIFUL FLOWER ON EARTH!
Edith Buckner Edwards