Iris Flower – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

Did you know some of the most beautiful and most interesting stories are about flowers and their meaning and symbolism? Even though a flower might seem to simple to have a story revolving around it, there is so much charm behind every story about each flower that it will wipe you off your feet.

People have been appreciating flower meaning and symbolism for hundreds of years now. Flowers are an inevitable part of decorations for special occasions, as they bring in positive energy and good vibes, joy, love, care for other people, etc. Of course, some flowers represents negative emotions, sadness, or even evil, but that all is a part of human life.

What is your first reaction or thought when we mention a red or pink flower? We guess you would instantly think of someone you love, remember a recent romantic date, someone of your family, your children… Red flowers usually remind us of Valentine’s Day and strong passion we feel towards someone special in our lives. Does it interest you to find out what hides behind a particular flower you would want to give to a person you love?

If the Iris flower is on your mind, this is the right text to read through, as we will talk about its meaning and symbolism in this text. Beautiful flower of Iris is used for flower arrangements and bouquets, but there is a lot more to find out about it. If you would like to reveal all the secret behind the Iris flower and hear some interesting stories, continue on reading this article.

What Is The Meaning of the Iris Flower?

As we mentioned above, the Iris flower carries a certain meaning and symbolism. The beliefs created about the Iris flower exist for thousands of years, while some details are added through time.

Meaning of each flower is crucial, as it will help you a lot when choosing a perfect flower to someone you have in mind, especially if you would want to impress that person. That means you can’t just pick any flower and expect a reaction.

The main meanings of the Iris flower are:

• Hope,
• Faith,
• Royalty,
• Wisdom.

Iris flower means faith in better tomorrow and in better days that are about to come. If you would want to express your support and love towards someone who is passing through some tough moments, the Iris flower would be a perfect, encouraging gift. Iris flower generally has an overall positive and good meaning, teaching you to look forward to new chances and new beginnings in life.

Similar to faith, hope is one of the most important values in life. You should always have hope and believe that everything will turn out great. Iris flower represents happiness we all strive for by believing in better days and having hope. It will find its way to your heart to uplift you and remind you that good thing are coming, but you still have to be persistent and keep on hoping. In the end, you will find what you have been searching for so long and all the effort will be totally worth it.

Iris flower is definitely a bit extravagant and stands for nobility and royalty. Kings and royal families considered the Iris flower as their symbol. This meaning has been present for hundreds of years now and this is the first thing you would think of when you take a look at the Iris flower. It is so gorgeous, a bit mysterious, extraordinary, charming, and noble.

In the end, the Iris flower has a meaning of wisdom too. Iris flower is a symbol of endless desire to acquire as more knowledge as we can, going to eternal knowledge. If you know someone who likes to read, explore, experiment, and inquisitive, give that person the Iris flower.

The Etymological Meaning of the Iris Flower

Greek goddess Iris was something like a messenger to the Gods. Now you get the connection between the name of the Iris flower and the goddess Iris. As many legends and myths narrate, the goddess knew how to create rainbows and associate earth with the heaven. Some stories mention her cot was made of a rainbow as it was multicolored and looked just like a rainbow.

As the goddess was so beautiful, ancient Greeks gave her name to this flower, whose beauty was comparable to hers. According to some myths, the goddess Iris wore Iris flowers on her coat and her robe. Ancient Greeks used to believe the Iris flower brought bliss to people who grew it and success to earth and people who lived on it.

The Symbolism of the Iris Flower

Iris flower can be proud of its rich symbolic meaning. Now that we mentioned the goddess Iris, ancient Greeks believed that taking the Iris flower on graves of women recalled the goddess so that she can take these women to heaven safely. Another civilization that appreciated the Iris flower were the Egyptians. Ancient Greeks truly did inspire and affect the Egyptians so the latter adopted heaven symbolism of the Iris flower in their culture also.

The French believe the Iris flower is a symbol of royalty and power. That is why they usually give Iris flowers to their rich friends when they go to their parties and events. What is more, the Iris flower is a national symbol of France and its symbolism affected the French to proclaim it the national flower. Iris flower symbolizes the month of February in the United States and the Americans usually gift the Iris flower to their partners after 25 years of being together. State Tennessee also proclaimed the Iris flower to be their state flower.

Iris Flower – Color and Meaning

Sometimes a certain color adds a lot to overall impression about a certain flower and its symbolism, while shades and shade ranges might emphasize the meaning of a flower additionally.

However, what does it happen with flowers that come in one color only? It is pretty much the same – as sometimes one color, such as one word, is just enough to express everything that you feel and want to say.

Iris flower is one of those flowers who come in a variety of colors and shades and you can find it in purple (which is the most common color of the Iris flower and probably the one you instantly think of when someone mentions the Iris flower), yellow, white, and blue.

Purple Iris flower represents the true and deepest meaning of this flower – royalty and nobility. However, the purple Iris flower can also symbolize respect, appreciation, and beauty. If you want to show your respect in every way possible towards some person, give that person the purple Iris flower. This is the color that will express your admiration and highest respect that you wouldn’t have to say a word. The purple color is truly a bit extravagant, but you will certainly know if that is the right color to be given to a person you have in mind.

Yellow Iris flower takes the second place when it comes to recognition of this flower. The gorgeous yellow color will impress anyone who is your good and loyal friend or someone of your family. Some people associate the yellow color with jealousy and negative emotions, but this has nothing to do with the Iris flower. Yellow Iris flower is a perfect statement piece for attracting new chances, business opportunities, joy, happiness, and positive energy into your life and your home.

White Iris flower is definitely very gentle and classy-looking. As usual, the white color means innocence, purity, honesty, and is used in religious rituals such as weddings and baptisms.

Blue Iris flower also complements perfectly the main meanings of this flower – hope and faith. If you want to give someone close to you a little bit of support and send them an encouraging and cheerful message, the blue Iris flower will do so.

Also, if you wish someone, or maybe to yourself, to achieve desired goals and fulfill their dreams, give them the blue Iris flower.

Botanical Characteristics of the Iris Flower

You can see the Iris flower in many gardens as it ornaments the environment and attracts attention easily. A little rarer, you will see whole areas covered with Iris flowers, but we are talking about big productions now. Iris flower is widespread over the Mediterranean and you will mostly see it in Morocco, Italy, France, and some parts of Central Europe.

This flower comes as a perennial herbaceous plant with strong and thick rhizome and up to 100 cm high stem. Iris flower has gray-green, flat leaves that grow up to 70 cm in length and are wide about 5 cm. The leaves are always arranged in two rows, while the flowers are large and have an interesting fragrance. If you plant the Iris flower, you can expect its flowers to bloom during May and June.

Iris flower has fruits, which come in the form of a capsule, while the seeds are shaped like a cylinder and are elongates. During winter, overground parts of your Iris flowers will fall off. The root of the Iris flower can withstand low temperatures without living through any kind of harm or damage and they lie horizontally or sloped. You will have to wait until the next spring for the new overground organs to develop, but it will be totally worth waiting. Iris flower tolerate heat great, including drought, and they develop a bit shallow under the surface, but this doesn’t affect them negatively.

People produce powder out of the Iris flower and use it in a production of toothpaste and powders and foundations and other cosmetic products. Our ancestors believed the Iris flower is a cure for coughing and used it as a diuretic too. Some cultures used to dry the Iris flower, mix it with rice, and give it to their kids to chew it, as it was believed this mixture would ensure the growth of healthy teeth.

We mentioned in the paragraphs above that the Iris flower has an interesting fragrance. Freshly picked Iris flower actually smells a bit unpleasantly, but if you dry it and wait for some time, the smell will turn to the one closest to the violet, sometimes even odorless. The main ingredients of the Iris flower are starch and essential oil. Iris flower is used in liqueur and bitter brandy production. Oil of the Iris flower is perfect for making perfumes and body fragrances.

Iris flower requires strong light and more heat during spring. However, going from spring to summer, as humidity decreases, the Iris flower will reduce its growth activity. Optimal soil for this flower is a sandy, loose, dry soil, but it works great even on the rocky terrains that are exposed to sun through most of the day. Iris flower is mostly a two-year-old plant, but in some cases, it can live up to three years. If you would like to boost its growth a bit, add some fertilizer and foliage, while the Iris flower also likes sugars. In case your Iris flowers are two-year-old plants, you should remove them after this period, but their roots might be used as a pre-culture as it releases the soil.

As the Iris flower is planted in autumn, give it a full depth, and remove previously grown crops from that place. Do the pre-sow preparation before planting and feed the surface a bit. In order to grow large and healthy Iris flowers on rocky and poor soils, add basic treatment fertilizer and mineral NPK fertilizers. Plant your Iris flowers with up 70 cm of distance if you plant them in rows, or up to 30 cm if you plant them randomly. Laid the seedlings of the Iris flower in 10 cm depth and fill the hole with soil.

Iris flower is usually reproduced by vegetation. During the period of vegetation, you should dig and store the roots of your Irises. Young and small Irises are not recommendable to be dried but don’t go for the largest one either. Iris flower requires weekly watering – two to three times, but you will easily check the needs of your flowers by compactness and accuracy of the soil you planted them into.

According to Mediterranean cultivation, you should plant the Iris flower just below the surface of the ground, as this won’t damage the roots. Iris flower wrap around a fence if there is something to stick to.

As we mentioned above, when your Iris flowers reach two or three years – remove the rhizomes from the ground. Iris flowers produce rice and you should remove it after blooming (end of summer or in early autumn). You can shake the ground up a bit by using crop machinery. Harvest of the rice is usually done in spring before vegetation starts.

Once you cut the Iris flower, put it in a vase with water to preserve its color, but avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or high temperatures. If you want to dry Iris flowers, you would need 4 kg of fresh one for one kilogram of dried Irises. Then you can pack dried Irises in sack bags of 25 kilograms and store them in a dark and dry place that is well protected. Keeping dried Iris flowers will last for a year and then they are ready to be distilled.

Iris Flower – Fun Facts

You can find up to 300 species of the Iris flower. However, you can’t find the Iris flower in bright red color.

Each Iris flower gives 3 to 10 leaves.

Iris flower also symbolizes eloquence.

The most common and most popular types of the Iris flower are Siberian Iris and Bearded Iris.

Two largest Iris flowers gardens are Presby Memorial Iris Garden in New Jersey and Iris garden in Italy, Florence.

Iris flowers’ juice is considered to be good for improving skin conditions and purifies body as the Iris flower has emetic, laxative, and diuretic properties.

Vincent van Gogh painted the Iris flower couple of times.

Iris flower might be irritating and causes allergies. That is the reason why none of the hypoallergenic products contains the Iris flower.

Iris flower is proved to be poisonous for cats and dogs.


As you could conclude, flowers are a beautiful decoration for special occasions, various ceremonies, and events, but they carry strong and rich symbolic of love, joy, care, and respect for other people. Poets and artists appreciated flowers in the past centuries, as these were a perfect way to send a message to someone without having to use words. In case you want to tell more about your feelings, but in a secret and a bit mysterious way, the best way to do that is to send a bouquet of flowers.

Iris flower sends an important message to a receiver that that is the message of deep understanding, support, faith, and hope. It says to another side you respect that person and care a lot for their happiness.