20 Apr 2011

Iris Flower

‘And nearer to the river's trembling edge
  There grew broad flag-flowers, purple, pranked with white…’   
Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Question

Irises, sometimes called flag-flowers, are named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow who was also a messenger to the gods of Mount Olympus. It is an apt namesake, as irises bloom in a myriad of different colours, the most popular being the vivid blue-purple shade. It also lends one of the meanings of the iris, which is that the giver has a message to deliver.  

The irises are exceptionally regal looking, with tall elegant stems and fragrant, symmetrical flowers, so it is no wonder French royalty used to take the fleur-de-lis as their emblem.

Fans of Booker Prize winner, Iris Murdoch, will not be surprised to note that the iris symbolises wisdom and eloquence—this is a great gift for the thinking lady. Other strong-willed people will appreciate its meaning of ‘burning through adversity’. It is also a great way to tell someone ‘Your friendship means so much to me.’ You can also give irises for a 25th wedding anniversary.

*     Burn through adversity
*     Eloquent
*     Faith
*     Hope
*     Passion
*     Valour
*     Wise
*     ‘Happy 25th anniversary!’
*     ‘I have a message for you.’
*     ‘Your friendship means so much to me.’

Origin: Irises are found all over the world, from Asia, all the way to Europe and in North America too. However, the most popular variety is the German iris.
Season: Late spring to early summer, but sometimes available all year.
Colour: Irises occur in all the colours of the rainbow, but the most common are white, yellow and blue.

 What do you think of the Iris flower?

Althethea Dean

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