Iris Flower Centerpieces

On May 3, 2011, in Blue Flowers For Weddings, by Lesley Charalambides
Golden Iris

The Golden iris - origin of he fleur-de-lis

There is another flower which is recognized across the world and has become the symbol of a country as well as one of luxury and good taste. That flower is the fleur-de-lis. As a symbol, it was known to the ancients and appeared on the walls of ancient temples in Egypt and Palaces in Crete. In Europe, the fleur-de-lis became the emblem of France. The name fleur-de-lis infers that the flower its-self is a lily, however many historians believe that the original flower was a golden iris,  (iris pseudiocarpus) a flower found in the lowland area which was home to the first French Kings. The angle of the petals is very similar to that of the fleur-de-lis and Egyptian Pharoahs were known to have rbough iris flowers from Asia minor following their various vicotires there.

The flag of France was originally a white background scattered with gold fleur-de-lis and where other countries claimed French nobility (and in many cases the throne itself) the fleur-de-lis became part of their of arms. Over the years it appeared in the arms of both England and Scotland as well as in the Coat of Arms the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.  Since then the symbol has appeared on almost everything, from flags to handbags and wallpaper and is one of the world’s most recognized symbols, it even appears in computer code, putting this unpretentious flower on equal terms with the letters of the alphabet.

The rhizomes of the iris are used in perfumery and to flavour Gin. The flowers can be found in gardens everywhere, and in almost every color. They are easy to grow, and very distinctive. They also provide a much needed touch of blue in the garden, a color most flowers cannot attain.

Does this make the Iris the perfect flower? Again, it depends what you are looking for. If your search is for an enduring symbol as well as a useful herb and a beautiful addition to your home and garden, then yes, the Iris is perfect for you. In flower arrangements I’ve found irises to be a bit troublesome. Their fleshy stems don’t seem to work well with florists foam, so they can be difficult to place exactly. However I’ve since discovered that you can wire the stems, or just place them in a vase with pebbles or water gel. There are many really realistic silk irises on the market, so if I want to be precise in an arrangement, I think I’ll use a silk one.


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