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Named from the Greek for rainbow. It symbolises life and resurrection. It is also thought that the French fleur-de-lys is a representation of this flower.
Genus of about 300 species of upright rhizomatous or bulbous perennials from a wide range of habitats in the northern hemisphere.
Rhizomatous irises have stout rootstocks on or very close to the surface. Bearded irises have rootstocks on the surface, beardless have them just under the surface. The bulbous irises, which also have fleshy roots, fall into 3 groups, Reticulata, Juno and Xiphium.
Water irises (Laevigata) thrive in damp places and include the UK native I. pseudacorus, the yellow flag.
Our other native, I. foetidissima, stinking iris (curious rather than stinking) or gladdon is a dull blue or buff-yellow flower of hedgebanks, damp woods and sea cliffs.
Harmful if eaten - These will give you an upset tummy, so please don't eat any of these.