Information About Iris Plants
Iris plants are found all around the world except in extremely cold regions. Its common and genus names are both iris. The family is iridaceous. Many people call the plant flags because its leaves grow in the shape of a paper fan. Irises can be either rhizomes or bulbs. Some of the varieties include Japanese, German, Siberian, and Dutch iris bulbs. The upper petals of the flowers are called standards and the lower petals are called falls.
Iris flowers are available in a variety of colors and every year it seems that more colors are available. In fact, the name iris is Greek and it means rainbow for its many colors. However, most irises are shades of blue or purple. The majority of iris plants that we see today are hybrids of the originals.
Irises have been around for many centuries, and many artists have chosen to paint them. There are several famous paintings of the flowers. “The Iris” by Vincent van Gogh was painted in 1889. Claude Oscar Monet painted “Iris” sometime between 1914 and 1917. More recently, in 1982, “Blue Iris” was painted by Lowell Nesbitt. A couple more paintings are dated back in the 1400 and 1500’s, but the actual artists are unknown.
Not only is the iris a beautiful flower, but some rhizomes are cultivated. They are dried and transformed into a powder, then it is used in a powder or paste form to clean teeth. The oil from the flower is used in aromatherapy as a sedative medicine. The oil is also used in perfume. Even though it is used in some medicines, parts of the iris is poisonous if it is ingested.