Iris Blooming in Virginia

All that matters this week is that iris are blooming in Virginia. Soon it will be followed by sweet fragrances that sweep through the night as if you are in a perfumed garden from Omar Khayyam days.

Iris flowers ushers in early spring after the tulips and daffodils are gone. The flowers are delicate and fragile subject to the whims of rain and wind. At least, we know that warmer weathers await us. The beauty of irises lies in its elegant long flat leaves, followed by its elegant long stems, and best in show: the flowers.

Iris Varieties
Today, North American irises include three noteworthy groups: the Blue Flag Irises, the Louisiana Irises and the Pacific Coast Irises. The Blue Flag is also called the wild iris, and grows in the east. The Louisiana or Hexagona Irises are native to the Mississippi Basin, Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The Pacific Coast Irises are found in California, Oregon and Washington State.
Irises appear in paintings by Gauguin, Claude Monet, Leonardo daVinci, Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, (whose famous painting “Irises” set an all-time auction price in recent years, selling for over 53 million dollars).

Medicines and Perfumes
In the ancient world, iris rhizomes were used for medicinal purposes and for the manufacture of perfume. The iris roots have been used in preparation for medicines for skin infections, syphillis, dropsy and stomach problems.

Iris Flower Symbolism
The iris flower symbolizes faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope, valor, promise in love, and wisdom. Iris is also a power emblem of both France and Florence, Italy, best known for its fleur-de-lis. In the U.S.A., it is also the state flower of Tennessee.

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