Friday, March 30, 2012

Iris--The State Flower of Tennessee

In 1933 Tennessee designated the iris (genus Iridaceae) as the state flower.  There are about 170 species of iris and they come in many different colors.  While the state legislature did not name a particular color, the purple iris is considered to be the state flower.

Tennessee gardeners frequently grow irises to form attractive borders in their gardens, or to enjoy as cut flowers.
The flowers grow from potato like roots called rhizomes.  In springtime, they produce long flowering stems that end in six lobe shaped petals.  Each iris flower consists of three standard petals and three downward drooping petals.  The petals are often marked by colorful, intricate designs in striking colors, giving rise to their huge variety.
I drive past Trinity Church, one of Nashville historic churches on my way home.
In the court yard of this beautiful historic church are long borders of while iris.

Image being a bride getting married in this beautiful historical church which is surrounded by hundreds of white iris.

The Tennessee iris is very hardy and requires little garden maintenance.  They multiply quickly and need dividing approximately every three years.  The most suitable time to divide iris is in August.  Yes, one of the hottest months in Tennessee.  One year, my Father was helping my Mother divide iris and there was an abundance.  My Father grew tired of the job and threw several of the rhizomes into the barn yard.  Iris are hardy and those rhizomes produced some of the pretties blooms!

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of your state of Tennessee! Knowing that one of my favorite garden flowers is the state flower makes me love you even more! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.