Iris germanica (Bearded Iris)
The Iris germanica, also known as the bearded iris and/or common iris, originates from the Mediterranean region. The plant is easy to recognise by its typical narrow upright green leaves, the flower is also easy to recognise by the large beard that hangs under the flower. Often these beards are richly decorated with threads and lines to lure bumblebees and other insects into its deeply hidden honey glands. The Iris germanica varies in height from 0.5 to 1.5 m. The Iris germanica grows well on sandy limestone soils, partly because the water drainage is better here and the Iris germanica is very sensitive to Botrytis.
History Iris germanica
The Iris owes its name to the Greek goddess ‘Iris’.
In Greek mythology, the Iris was believed to draw water from the earth to create clouds. Similarly, it was believed that an Iris germanica could also create a rainbow.
The goddess Iris was the messenger of the Greek gods and sent her messages to Earth through a rainbow. The link between the flower and the myth was soon made and the flower was named Iris.
The first drawings ever found of the Iris date back to 2500 BC, these drawings date from the Egyptian era. According to archaeologists, the story of these drawings is that the mighty pharaoh Thutmose had just conquered what is now Syria. At the end of the battle he saw a beautiful Iris germanica. He was so fascinated by the Iris germanica that he took it to Egypt and had it propagated in one of his gardens. To venerate the Iris germanica, the pharaoh had the Iris immortalised on immense granite pillars at the Amun Temple of Karnak.
Later in history, the Iris continues to play an important role. Besides the fact that the Iris germanica was used as a cut flower and garden plant for the elite, the leaf was also used to make rope. The tuber has been used for years in the perfumery industry for exclusive scents and the roots were used to make beer.
At our nursery, we grow about 450 different varieties of Iris germanica. This means we have a wide range of Iris germanica and we can offer our customers the Iris in all available colours.