Monday, May 2, 2011

Iris the Rainbow Flower

The Iris as far as I can find out has always been with us. They grow naturally in Europe, the middle east, Northern Africa and North America.  The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt had the gardens filled with purple  Iris meaning royalty.  They had the symbols of the elegant Iris on the walls and they adorned their scepters with them. The Egyptians  associated the Iris with the Falcon head god Horus, god of wind and sky.  The Iris for them stood for elegance and power. The Iris root was used as medicine for coughs, colds, liver diseases and snake bites.   Perfume was also made from the root, it was dried and pounded into a powder and burned to the god Horus.  The Greek associated the Iris with the goddess Iris the messenger of love.  Her sacred flower the Iris was considered the symbol of communication and messages.  The Greek men would plant the purple Iris  on the graves of  their beloved women so that the goddess Iris, whose duty it was to lead their souls to eternal life.  Early Christians associated the Iris with the Virgin Mary. The  ruler Clovis adopted the Iris as his symbol, upon converting to Christianity in the sixth century.  In the year of  1137 French King Louis XII incorporated the lovely Iris or "Fleur de Lis" as his personal standard . The Iris is still the symbol of France today.  New Orleans claims the " Fleur de Lis " for their city.  In Jordan the black Iris grows on plateaus.  Because it roots are so close to the surface, the Iris is easily  uprooted, therefore the black Iris is an endangered species. Picnickers on the plateau are the biggest threat to the black Iris.  I have never liked the way some people plant the Iris, in beds by themselves, my Mother didn't either.  When the blooms are gone you have a bed of cut off green leaves,  no color.  I plant mine inside my beds with the other flowers as did my Mother, guess we were rebels.   When they finish I cut off the bloom stem.   My daughter, Charlotte, gave me at least fifteen different Iris.  We both bought the "Fleur de Lis" reblooming collection from Spring Hill nursery.  
Yes, I said reblooming.  To my delight I had Iris to bloom in October and November.  In fact the first frost caught one bloom and ruined it.  So plant the new Iris, it is nothing like the good ole days'  Iris of your Grandma's time. Hope you have enjoyed the legend of the Iris I had no idea it was as important to the people of old. A flower of many colors, rainbow flower.The purple Iris, stands for royalty.  When you feel passionate send your love Yellow Iris.  No wonder my favorite color is yellow,  just kidding.  When you send flowers the color sometimes represents something, check it out. Hope you will follow my blog and watch my garden grow and bloom.  Happy gardening to you from me. 
                                         Next post the Rose.     


  1. Thanks for the info...think I want a yellow iris!!! When I clicked on your picture it filled my screen! So beautiful. Love it!

  2. I do love irises! I also plant them in with other flowers, like roses. I do see a lot of beds that are just irises and they are not pretty for long.

  3. Thank you Charlotte like Mother like Daughter. that makes 3 generation that plants Iris the same way. Maybe we are all 3 just a little of a rebel.

  4. I just love these flowers. They bring lots of color and I have the yellow ones and they come back each year fuller than the year before.