Iris: The Paintbrush Flower


The name, Iris, comes from the name of the Greek goddess of rainbows. The long, erect stems look like paintbrushes dipped in blue, white, purple or yellow until they open in the vase like dragon heads. The 18-24″ blooms of the hybrid Iris hollandica have long lasting, silky flowers popular in late spring bouquets. Although we only plant one kind of iris, plants in this family grow in a plethora of forms as wide and varied as the places they come from. Irises have many symbolic meanings from impressionist painters to national flags. Though the flowers themselves are scentless, their practical uses include perfumery, not from the flower, but from the rhizome of one species.

Bloom time: May