The Cool House: Iris

Monday, August 25, 2008


There are hundreds of species of Iris and they one of the most recognised garden plants. Not only beautiful but useful too, the dried rhizomes, orris root, are used in medicine, perfume, gin and as an ingredient in the Moroccan spice mix Ras el hanout.
Iris was the Greek Goddess of the rainbow and the iris comes in hues of blue and yellow, red and even white. The yellow flower is the symbol of Brussels, you see it everywhere there, on public transport, outside hospitals, they even held La fĂȘte de l'Iris at the start of May this year, while the fleur-de-lis was the symbol of the French monarchy until the Revolution put an end to that. And the government of Quebec has Iris LinnĂ© as its emblem.
These gorgeous blue Iris (Iris Germanica?) came from Trader Joe's on Long Island. They are The Guy's favorite flower, but we don't buy them often because they fade so fast. Luckily, we have this photo and a blog on which to post it, so enjoy!


Marilyn said...

Oh, beautiful! And such a fine researcher you are, too - I knew some of those facts but not all of them. Moroccan ingredient? That's a new one on me.

modernemama said...

ras-el-hanout is pre-mixed spices for tagines - everyone has their own recipe. There were many excellent Moroccan restaurants in Brussels, so we were disappointed when we first came to NY and couldn't find them here. Now I can buy a version (not the best) at my local market

Jennifer said...

Those are my favorite flower... they were our wedding flowers. We even had the exact same ones in your picture! I added a few red tulips for a visual punch, but I had to have my favorite flowers! (300 of them in fact, because we bought in bulk through a flower wholesaler at 1/4 of the price).

modernemama said...

I think iris are like daffodils - they are best in drifts. I bet yours look fantastic in bloom