HomeFlower MeaningIris Flower: Origin, Meaning, and Symbolism

Iris Flower: Origin, Meaning, and Symbolism

The iris is one of the most popular and recognizable flowers, with its distinctive lobed petals and beautiful colors. But did you ever wonder about the origin, meaning, and deeper symbolism of the iris flower?

Even though irises have been around for centuries, they remain popular and their symbolism feels timeless. Let’s find out more about this beautiful flower a little more!

Iris Flower Origin

Iris Flower Origin
Iris Flower Origin

The iris originated in ancient Egypt, where it was sacred to the goddess Isis. Egyptians believed iris could guide souls to the afterlife and included them in funeral rites. The iris’ association with rebirth and immortality led Egyptians to view it as a symbol of eternity.

The iris also held a deep significance for ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese, representing virtues like faith, wisdom, and grace. Greeks saw iris as a bridge between mortals and gods. In China, the iris embodies poise and virtue.

Though native to Egypt, iris spread throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and India. There are over 260 iris species today in a dazzling array of colors, sizes, and bloom times.

Iris Meaning & Symbolism

Iris Meaning & Symbolism
Iris Meaning & Symbolism

The iris is a powerful symbol of faith, hope, wisdom, and eternity. In ancient Egypt, the iris represented immortality and guided souls to the afterlife. For Greeks, it was a rainbow bridge to the gods. In China, it embodies virtue and grace.

The iris signifies feminine energy, magic, rebirth, and transcendence. It reminds us of overcoming adversity with courage and finding beauty in each moment.

The iris was sacred in many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Paganism. It appears in mythology, poetry, and art, cementing it as a spiritual

Being the Tennessee state flower, it teaches us to perceive life’s deepest beauty, magic, and significance. It signifies continual renewal, spiritual depth, and immortality.

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Iris Uses, facts, and Benefits

Iris Uses, facts, and Benefits
Iris Uses, facts, and Benefits


Irises produce stunning cut flowers and hold mythological/religious significance. Ancient Egyptians believed irises guided souls to the afterlife and used them in funeral rites. Many religions saw iris as sacred.


  • Irises originate from Egypt and spread globally, resulting in 260+ species/thousands of cultivars.
  • Distinct iris flower colors symbolize peace (white), faith (yellow), wisdom (blue iris flower), and royalty (purple).
  • Some irises have ruffled blooms in vibrant colors, blooming spring-fall.
  • Irises require full sun, well-drained soil, and moderate water/fertilizer, and can thrive for decades.
  • Irises propagate by rhizome division or seeds. The rhizome division has higher success. Seeds have low germination

Learn more about: How Buying Flowers Is a Form of Self care?


  • Iris rhizomes/roots have medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine. They promote yang energy, relieve stress, improve eyesight, and boost immunity. Ground into powder or infused as a tea, they provide these benefits.
  • Edible iris leaves/rhizomes have an earthy flavor and a starchy texture. Leaves can be cooked like spinach and the rhizomes roasted like parsnips. However, some iris species contain toxins, so identification is required before consumption.
  • Irises offer drought tolerance, a long blooming season (May-August), and require moderate care/conditions to thrive for years.
  • Irises bring beauty, meaning, magic, and wonder through spiritual Iris flower symbolism, historic significance, vibrant hues, and delicately laced blooms.
  • Some iris species provide edible roots/rhizomes used in traditional medicine to relieve stress, improve vision, boost immunity, and promote wellness. Properly prepared, they can be consumed as a ground powder or an infusion.

Iris color meaning

Iris color meaning
Iris color meaning

Distinct iris colors have been imbued with spiritual and symbolic iris flower across many ancient cultures. Here are some common color meanings:

  • The white iris flower represents peace, purity, innocence, and new beginnings. White is the color of purity, innocence, and cleansing.
  • Yellow irises signify faith, hope, optimism, and endurance. Yellow conveys hope, joy, creativity, and vitality.
  • Blue iris embody wisdom, knowledge, intuition, and calm. Blue is the color of depth, intelligence, and peace.
  • Purple iris flowers symbolize royalty, nobility, wisdom, and dignity. Purple represents power, spirituality, creativity, and imagination.
  • Brown iris flowers come in chocolate, bronze, and copper hues. These earthy tone represents stability, integrity, and groundedness.

Gifting Occasions with Iris Flowers

The Iris is the February birth flower that makes thoughtful gifts for a variety of occasion. Some suggestions include:

Mother’s Day

Irises hold spiritual significance as a flower sacred to mother goddesses like the Egyptian Isis. They represent motherhood, care, protection, and renewed life.

Remembrance Day

Irises signify faith, hope, peace, and immortality in many spiritual traditions. They make a fitting remembrance flower for honoring those who have passed.


With their deep symbolism of joy, optimism, and achieving life’s purpose, irises convey congratulations and well wishes beautifully. They represent embracing and sharing moments of triumph.


Iris symbolizes wisdom, hope, and faith that blossom over time like the joy of life’s journey. An inspiring birthday flower arrangement can be created with their vibrant colors and meaningful symbolism.

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Irises have a long and storied history as a symbol of marriage, fidelity, and eternal love. They would make a poignant anniversary flower bouquet.

Thinking of You

They provide a lovely spontaneous iris flower arrangement gift to brighten someone’s day and let them know you’re thinking of them. Their vibrant and whimsical blooms cheer the recipient up and lift their spirits.

Irises are stunning flowers that blossom with style, spirit, and meaning. Originating in ancient Egypt, irises spread beauty across cultures, religions, and history- perfect for gifting for any occasion!

Iris flower delivery
Iris flower delivery

Iris Flowers FAQs

  1. How long do iris flowers last and what includes in iris flower care?

Most iris flowers last 1-2 weeks when cut and properly cared for. Provide clean water, recut stems, and place them in a cool spot out of the direct sun. Their velvet petals and delicate fragrance bring prolonged enjoyment.

  1. What iris flower types produce ruffled blooms? 

Certain iris species, especially iris crispa hybrids, produce ruffled or frilly blooms.

  1. Do iris attract pollinators? 

Irises are pollinated by bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles. Their vivid colors, pleasant fragrance, and nectar rewards attract pollinating insects. However, not all iris species produce nectar or strong fragrances.

  1. Where can I order flower in Tennessee?

Snapblooms is an excellent option for flower delivery in Tennessee and anywhere in the U.S. If you are looking for an Online flower delivery, check out the website for more details.



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