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Iris: Meaning and Symbolism

Iris

The iris flower is a delicate yet beautiful flower which is loved all over the world. Its natural habitat is across the continent of Asia and often expansively through Afghanistan. However, with its simple beauty, this flower has become popular all over the world and in non-native countries, is now often grown using a bulb. This small indigo, white and yellow bloom has a very special meaning and we are going to be exploring its significance a little deeper and the meaning of each variety.

Iris Flowers around the world

The iris flowers makes its first appearance of the year during the springtime, and for many signals the beginning of this beautiful time of year. Despite being a natural flower of the spring, many countries have forced these dainty flowers to grow throughout the warmer months to make them more of an all-round flower.

In ancient times, this flower represented the messenger to the Greek gods, and this regal meaning has stuck with the flower through the years. Often times the flower is associated with royalty as it was used as a kind of personal family symbol.

Fleur-de-lis thus became the national symbol of France, and the iris (along with lilies) became the most commonly used flower in heraldry. In Asian tradition Irises are recognized as a symbol of the so-called blue blood. In Japan, it is believed to protect against negative energy and evil spirits, and often planted on houses roofs as protection.

Types of Iris Flowers

It may surprise you to learn that there are in fact, over 300 different species of the iris flower making it an extremely diverse bloom. The flower belongs in the same family as the freesia, and it isn’t difficult to see the similarities between the two flowers.

Two of the most common natural type of iris flowers are the Dutch iris and the bearded iris, however taking advantage of natural cross-pollination, the species has evolved to create many other types.

Iris Meaning

The iris flower has many meanings, most commonly it is associated with the following:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Wisdom
  • Royalty
  • Valor

However, although you may recognize the iris flower as being blue or purple, there are other variations and these blooms have different meanings depending on the color.

The Purple Variety

This is the color that is often linked to royalty and regality. They were often used in ancient Egypt to decorate the items belonging to the Pharaoh.

The Yellow Variety

This is a flower that represents passion, this is an ideal flower to gift a significant other.

The Blue Variety

When a flower is needed to symbolize hope and faith, the blue iris flower is a perfect embodiment of this.

The White Variety

As with many white flowers, the white iris flower is a symbol of purity. For this reason it may often be featured in a bridal bouquet.

Coming from a royal background dating back to the Greek goddess of the same name, the iris flower is a simple yet elegant bloom which can have a wealth of meanings. These meanings depend on the color of the flower but each one can hold a special place in the hearts of flower lovers everywhere. What’s your favorite?

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