Iris – graceful and amazing flower
Irises are popular garden flowers. They are known for their wide variety of colors and unique petal shapes. There are about 800 species of iris. They grow mostly in mild northern regions. Some irises grow from bulbs. Others grow from the rhizomes of other iris plants.
Irises have six petals that can be white, yellow, pink, red, blue, purple, brown, or even black. Irises can grow to 90 centimeters tall and usually have a strong fragrance.
Irises are known since ancient times. One of the frescoes found in Crete shows a priest surrounded by irises. The fresco is about 4,000 years old.
In Greek the word ἶρῐς means rainbow. The flowers were named after Iris, the Greek goddess of rainbow. It was Hippocrates who named the flowers in the 4th century BC.
Iris Nebula (NGC 7023) is located in the Cepheus constellation.
The roasted seeds of the irises were considered an expensive delicacy. People made coffeelike drink of them. Their leaves are rich in ascorbic acid.
Kings and nobles in Europe decorated their coat of arms with the image of the iris.
On May 5 people in Japan enjoyed irises in water gardens. This event is called Hanami. And the image of this flower is on almost all household items in the families with sons.
These flowers have always been appreciated not only for their flavor and beauty. They are used in the manufacturing of wine, a variety of sweets, are added to pastry; their roots are still used in the fragrance industry.
In ancient Egypt, iris was considered a symbol of eloquence. In Arabia, on the contrary, it was a symbol of silence and sadness.
In Japan it is a symbol of dignity and courage, purple and white flowers represent nobility.
Hermann Hesse dedicated one of his best stories to this plant.