With their petals seemingly all facing a different direction, Irises don’t look much like other flower bulbs. But variety is the spice of life, and that’s what Irises are all about! The colors of Ducth Irises range from purple to blue, yellow to brown and white to pink, and they bloom late spring into early summer. While Dwarf Iris blooms in early spring. Fragrant and deer resistant all season long, Irises will liven up any garden, container or balcony with their jaunty flowers and rich symbolism.
But where do these beauties come from? Originally from the Mediterranean and Central Asia, Irises like to grow in temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere, be it Europe, Asia or Northern America. And when a place is dry, semi-desert or a colder and rocky mountainous area, they really come into their own.
Unlike most well-known flower bulbs that grow from so called “true bulbs” – the onion-like spheres with a pointy end that you know from tulips, daffodils, etc., Irises grow from a bulb variety called a rhizome. Rhizomes are simply fleshy underground stems. They grow underground or right at ground level with many growing points or eyes, similar to potatoes. So don’t be freaked out when you receive your DutchGrown Iris bulbs, they are meant to look like this!
The name Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow, based on the many different colors this variety can have. Because of their shape and colors, Irises really speak to people’s imagination, both in the past and in present times. As a result, Irises carry a ton of symbolism and meaning.
Irises are the birth flower of the month February, and in Christianity they represent Our Lady of Sorrows as their sharp leaves look like swords.
Different kinds of Irises are the national flowers of Croatia and Jordan, and of the town of Nazareth. Americans love Irises too: it is the state wildflower of Michigan and Louisiana, and in Tennessee they love it so much they even hold and annual Iris Festival in Greenville.
And let us not forget the stylized Iris or fleur-de-lys which is a firm favorite in heraldry and graces more flags and coats of arms than you could ever count (including those of the Scouting movement).
Fun fact: Gin brands such as Bombay Sapphire and Magellan Gin use orris root and sometimes iris flowers for flavor and color. But be careful, don’t try to brew your own Iris-beverages at home, as they can be toxic.
In the language of flowers Iris symbolizes eloquence, and DutchGrown’s Irises have a lot to tell you!
Purple Irises symbolize wisdom and compliments, so why not let Dutch Iris Purple Sensation tell you how great you are (or how to handle a difficult situation) ?
Blue Irises symbolize faith and hope. When everything is looking bleak and you’re about to give up, sky blue Dwarf Iris Reticulata Harmony will definitely give you back some faith in the beauty of nature and the arrival of spring.
Yellow Irises symbolize passion, perfectly expressed by Dutch Iris Autumn Princess.
White Irises symbolize purity, with a bed of Dutch Iris White Excelsior bringing to mind a field of recently fallen, untouched snow.