Wild Irish Yellow Iris
Original oil painting
The iris is often associated with royalty and it’s no wonder. This regal flower puts on quite a show in the garden in early to mid-summer. It’s stately blooms range in color from traditional shades of purple and blue to yellow, white, pink, red, chartreuse, brown and nearly black. There is an iris to fit any occasion.
Yellow irises symbolize passion.
The iris earned its name from the ancient Greek Goddess Iris, a messenger to the gods who was thought to use the rainbow as a bridge between heaven and earth. By some accounts, the ancient Greeks believed the rainbow was actually the flowing, multi-colored robes of Iris. Others believed the beautiful multi-colored flowers were also part of her robe or the flowing veil from her dress. Thus, these flowers were named to honor the Rainbow Goddess and bring favor upon the earth.
Symbolism of the Iris Flower
The ancient Greeks soon began the practice of planting purple iris flowers on the graves of women, believing they would entice the Goddess Iris to lead their loved ones in their journey to heaven.
These stately flowers, as evidenced by their depiction in Egyptian palaces, also enamored Egyptian Kings. The Egyptians were likely influenced by Greek mythology and used the iris to symbolize their connections to heaven.
By the middle ages, France took up the gauntlet and began to use iris flowers to symbolize royalty and power. In fact, it is the iris that inspired the fleur-de-lis, the National symbol for France.
In the United States, the iris is the birth flower for February, the flower for the 25th wedding anniversary and the state flower for Tennessee.