Rarely Shared Facts About Irises

Who would have thought that a flower with a beard could be considered a beautiful addition to the garden. You won't find a flower with more variety and colour than irises. Irises are often considered spring bulbs, but some of the thousands of varieties of irises bloom in summer and autumn.

A distinctive feature of irises is their spear-shaped, pointed foliage - the blooms are often confused with lilies, but the foliage is a sign that indicates the plant you are looking at. Irises are perennial plants that multiply easily and can be divided, which means you can plant more irises in your garden for free each year.

A group of purple and white bearded irises with droplets of water.

1. Irises have been important flowers since the ancient Greeks
The long history of the iris goes back largely to the Greeks. Its name comes from the Greek word for rainbow and messenger. It is believed that these flowers were named because their flowers are available in many colors of the rainbow. In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris delivered messages to the gods, traveling on rainbows to go from heaven to earth and back. The ancient Greeks would plant irises on the graves of their loved ones in the hope that the goddess Iris would help connect their souls to heaven.

The first art depicting an iris is a fresco in the palace of King Minos on the Greek island of Crete. The palace dates back to 2100 BC.

2. 2. Irises can be be bearded or without bear
The coloured flowers can be be bearded or not bearded and are available in solid colours or patterns with dramatic veins. All irises have vertical petals and drop petals hanging below. You can tell a bearded iris from an iris without a bear by looking at the center of the falling petals - the bearded irises have a blurred spot, which is why they are called 'bearded'. Bearingless irises may have a color spot in the same spot on the falling petals, but without a blurred structure.

Parts of the iris have been used in medicine
Irises have more of a purpose than something nice to look at. Historically, parts of iris plants have been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In addition to being a common fragrance added to perfumes, fresh iris root juice has been used to remove freckles. The root has been mixed to create cough syrups and topical treatments for skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Seeds have been prescribed for digestive problems. With the increase in aromatherapy, iris oil is said to help with congestion and increasing mood.

Multicolored bearded iris in glass jars on top of a wooden table

4. Each colour of the iris means something different
The species of iris symbolizes eloquence, which comes from the fact that the goddess Iris is a messenger. But within the species, each color also has its own meaning: keep this symbolism in mind the next time you send an iris. For example, purple irises represent admiration and wisdom, while blue is a symbol of faith and hope. Yellow irises symbolize passion, while white irises represent purity.

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