What is Iris Flower, Its History and Meaning?

Iris plants spread out their stunning flowers from spring to early summer. This enduring flower is a subject of countless poems and paintings throughout history.

The Iris is known for its unique and beautiful bloom, which is unlike any other flower. But, as with many colors, it has to offer, the iris has many meanings.

We have written this article to walk you through the beautiful Iris's rich heritage, magnificent historical and cultural symbolism, and how this marvelous flower makes our lives more exciting and profound throughout the years.

Its Name

Its name can be traced back to Greek mythology. In Greek, “iris” is translated in English as “rainbow” and another Greek word “eiris” meaning messenger that entails one of the meanings of this beautiful bloom.

Most Ancient Greeks believed that the definition of the rainbow is based on the fact that Iris flowers vary in many colors, but the root meaning in Greek mythology. A Greek goddess named Iris is the one delivering messages for the gods and from the Underworld. This Greek goddess travels along with rainbows as she moves between two realms: heaven and earth. This myth explains the iris definition of the rainbow.

Its Location

Irises can be found naturally in Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, Asia, and North America. The good thing is that Irises can be cultivated all over the world.

Its History, Myths, and World Cultures

  • During the 16th century BC in Egypt, Iris flowers were introduced to decorate the scepters of pharaohs as a sign of victory and power.
  • In the Middle Ages, the iris flower inspired the decorative symbol of the French monarchy called the fleur-de-lis and appeared on their coat of arms, coins, and shields. Other thought that the three petals represented the three social orders of the society: nobility, clergy, and peasants.
  • Iris, the Greek goddess, also escorted the deceased from the earth, guiding them to their destination. Thus, the connection of irises and the afterlife is rooted in Greek culture, a customary tradition that individuals would plant irises on the graves of loved ones as a sign for goddess Iris to come and escort the dead loved one to the afterlife.
  • In Japan, they believed that iris means purifying evil energies and protecting those who wear them. Therefore, the Japanese recognized the iris flower for its purifying properties. Because of this, it became a symbol present in kimono fabrics.
  • The Chinese definition of Iris is translated as “the purple butterfly,” about the petals of iris blooms that easily move by the wind mimicking the fluttering of butterfly wings. Thus, in Chinese art, the iris flower often represents “the dancing spirit of early summer.”

The Iris Varieties and Meanings

  • Bearded Iris – this variety appears to be showy and open brightly tinted flowers in shades of purple, blue, red, peach, yellow, orange, rose, black and white. This Iris variety blooms from mid-spring to early summer. This type of Iris is dwarf and knee-high tall at full size. This type represents respect and wisdom.
  • Siberian Iris – this variety is a tough kind of iris that brings exquisite beauty to late spring and early summer gardens. Blossom reveals purple and blue iris flowers and blooms in red, white, pink, orange, and yellow hues. This type represents purity, faith, and royalty.
  • Dutch Iris – this variety blooms in a rainbow of hues and appears to be orchid-like iris flowers. This type represents bravery, majesty, and good relationships.
  • Japanese Iris – this variety can grow in standing water during the growing season. This type of iris opens flowers in various hues, but white and blue colored iris are the popular kind. This type represents freedom from guilt or sin.
  • African Iris – this variety has butterfly-like forms of white and yellow petals that seem to be floating over the leaves and has upright extended flowers that add an aesthetic look to the garden. This type represents strong passion and innocence.
  • Dwarf Iris – this variety features bright rose and yellow iris flower with a bit of speck of brown hue on each petal that starts blooming in the late winter or early spring. This type represents intense devotion.

Its Symbolism

The Iris flower is a traditional gift to convey deep sentiments. The rainbow of Iris lets you express your heartfelt emotions with comfort and ease.

The meanings behind the Iris Flower are:

  • Faith – Iris flower is often gifted to those who need spare support and love in challenging moments. This flower conveys a message of faith and hope for a better tomorrow. It signifies that everything is good in the world and in the future.
  • Hope – Iris flower represents hope that we will reach the happiness we strive for our entire lives one day. This flower is often gifted to the ones who needed upliftment. This flower signifies that there is still goodness in this world. You just have to be persistent to find it.
  • Wisdom – Iris flower represents eternal knowledge to learn more of the inquisitive nature of life. This flower is often gifted to someone who needs support and love right now.
  • Royalty – Iris flower represents royalty and nobility since it was considered a symbol of king and royalties for several years.

The Ancient Greeks introduced their custom tradition of planting purple iris flowers to call the Goddess Iris to lead the spirits of their loved ones in their journey to heaven.

Ancient Egyptians placed an iris flower on the brow of the Sphinx and on the scepter of the Egyptian kings as a symbol of bravery, wisdom, and faith. This practice is linked to the three leaves of its blossoms.

By the Middle Ages, French people began to use iris flowers to symbolize royalty and power. Today, the iris flower inspired the creation of fleur-de-lis, the National symbol for France.

While any Iris symbolizes royalty, wisdom, faith, and hope, the color of the flower somehow significantly affects the message the flower conveys to the recipient.

  • Purple Iris – This Iris color represents royalty and nobility and signifies beauty and respect. The Purple iris flower is a perfect gift to show how much you respect the person in every way possible.
  • Blue Iris – represents hope and faith. The Blue iris flower is a perfect gift for anyone who requires support and helps achieve their dreams and aspirations.
  • Yellow Iris – represents passion, courage, and admiration. The Yellow iris flower is a perfect gift to a loyal friend or colleague. This color of the Iris flower sends a solid message to the other person and an ideal centerpiece for your home to attract positive energy into your home.
  • White Iris – represents purity and innocence. The White iris flower is often used on floral arrangements for weddings and baptism as it conveys a message of innocence and purity.

Fun Facts about Iris Flower

  1. The state flower of Tennessee is the bearded Iris flower.
  2. The Fleur-de-lis is the floral emblem of New Orleans.
  3. It is the February birth flower and a wedding anniversary flower celebrating 25 years of married life.
  4. Iris is recognized as a floral emblem in Italy and France.

Uses of Iris Flower

  1. The roots of this perennial plant have been used to treat skin infection, syphilis, stomach problems, and dropsy.
  2. The roots can still be used to purge the liver in today’s medicine.
  3. The Yellow Iris is used to treat dandruff.
  4. The White Iris is used to treat asthma and bronchitis.
  5. The fragrance of the iris flower is used in cosmetics and perfumes, while the flower itself is used to treat acne as a compress.

Final Thoughts

One of the beautiful things on earth that blew our minds for centuries is flowers and inspiring many works of art.

A proof of Mother Nature's beautiful creations is the blooming of the iris flower. Their intriguing shape and rainbow variations of colors inspired our creative artisans to handcraft several sterling silver jewelry pieces.

The word iridescence is derived from the iris, which makes sense. Anyone who beheld these bright blooms agrees they just shimmer. From different viewing angles, an iris may appear to glisten with color. This quality of the iris is the inspiration for the creation of these handmade sterling silver jewelry pieces. These nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry pieces remind us to express our true colors and tell us to accept the changes we go through.  Therefore, these handmade sterling silver jewelry pieces reinforce your message to express your love with confidence.

Iris Flower Dangle Earring

Iris Flower Earring

Iris Flower Stud Earring

Iris Flower Ring

Because of the iris’s connection with royalty, these Iris Flower Earrings and a Ring can be worn by brides on their regal wedding day. It can also be given to women who men consider as the princesses and queens of their lives. 

The intricate design of the earrings and ring realistically mimics an actual replica of an iris flower. One can opt to buy this gorgeous pair in solid silver or gold color. Each piece is a fine example of a unique handmade sterling silver jewelry that you can wear every day on top of your everyday wear to add color and class to your overall appearance.

Dazzling nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry pieces make a perfect gift for yourself or someone else as a symbol of faith, hope, wisdom, and royalty. A great pair of accessories that complements your elegance in regal and royal fashion!

Consider grabbing any of these stunning Iris sterling silver jewelry into your fashion wardrobe to keep you as stylish and as glamorous in any of your preferred fashion wear. You can even wear any of these nature-inspired jewelry pieces every day! Are you now set to purchase one of these fantastic Iris jewelry pieces? Pay through our online store official site, Lotus Fun, and expect convenient and secured online transactions. Happy Shopping!


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"Something is handmade is so much more meaningful"

Beth Wert