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Iris: The Rainbow And Messenger of the Gods

May 1st, 2015

Iris is named after the Greek messenger of the gods. She had golden wings and travelled on a rainbow – Iris means rainbow in Greek.

Irises – years old

Like so many gorgeous flowers, Irises harken back thousands of years ago, first documented in Egypt and Syria where irises grew in abundance. King Thutmose III of Egypt loved irises so much he had them immortalized in sculptures and temples.

Arrival of Irises in America

The earliest documentation of irises in America dates back to the 1600’s when the early settlers journeyed from Europe. But it is thought that irises arrived in the new world as early as 1492 with Columbus. To this day, the fleur-de-lis (a stylized lily or iris) is the emblem of New Orleans and the iris is the official State Cultivate Flower of Tennessee.

Today, North America enjoys three groups of irises: the Pacific Coast Irises, the Louisiana Irises and the Blue Flag Irises.

Flower Arrangements and Perfume

Irises are especially popular in Japanese flower arrangements and they are also the source of orrisroot from which violet perfume is made.


Irises are adored the world over, in Japan, Egypt, France, Italy, Spain, Holland and other European countries. In 1376 King Charles V of France, applied three fleur-de-lis to his coat of arms, and the iris is still the fleur-de-lis of the French royalist standard. In the 19th century the iris became the emblem of Florence, Italy.

As you think about your flower choice, why not order irises and ask the kids to paint rainbows or do some chalk art, and you can let Mom know how rainbows, Greek Goddesses and Irises are all connected. Order your irises here and not only enjoy the beauty and history of the iris but receive 50% off your order.


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