Your Royal Iris

Since the first iris of this year bloomed on the anniversary of my mother’s birthday at the end of May, I’ve been honoring the elegant flowers in our gardens.

first iris, 5:31:16

The first bloomer was a German bearded variety, apropos for Mom since her mother was a German immigrant.

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Today I decided to take a closer look. I hope you’ll be as wowed as I was.

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This eye-catching bloom has been revered forever and shows up throughout history. The Goddess of the Rainbow was named Iris and it was the inspiration for the fleur-de-lys that once appeared on the French flag and still adorns Canada’s Providence of Quebec flag. Royalty have been known to use the pattern in their special attire. It’s no wonder.

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I’m thinking that it might also be called the trinity flower because its parts appear in multiples of three. Beginning from the bottom up, there are three bearded sepals that look like petals. Next are the three stemmed true petals that remind me of a queen’s ruffles.

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The three theme continues with petal-like stigmas that receive the pollen and send it down the stalk of the pistil known as the style to the ovary.

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And tucked under each stigma is a stamen with pollen-bearing anthers. You have to lift a stigma in order to see one.

iris stamen 4

Since the stamen are hidden, how can a pollinator possibly find them? With ease if it follows the dramatic runway aglow with light.

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We’ve also been blessed with two beardless varieties including this white species that was wrapped with grace two days ago.

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Within an hour it began to unfurl.

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The three showy sepals were the first to open.

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This morning, raindrops further enhanced its delicate beauty.

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As I smiled at it, I’m sure it returned the favor.

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And then there’s the second beardless–the blue flag iris.

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Like its white kin, this species prefers moist areas–such is our yard.

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The runway veins reminded me of the tree of life spreading forth joy and hope.

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The three true petals stood upright on this particular flower, while the three stigmas covered the three pistils.

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Not only am I in awe of the hidden pistil, but the fringed edge of the stigma also amazes me.

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Before today, I never looked this closely at an iris.

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I wasn’t the only one, though he does seem to be a bit off course.

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Maybe he was letting the raindrops dry before following the runway.

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Thank you to the iris for providing today’s wonder and may you be known forevermore as “Your Royal Iris.”