Iris Cyphioides - Kingfisher Publishing - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W
Iris Cyphioides - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W
Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. Some state that the name refers to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, as well as some belonging to other closely related genera.
French King Clovis I (466 – 511), when he converted to Christianity, changed his symbol on his banner from three toads to irises (the Virgin's flower).
The fleur-de-lis, a stylized iris, first occurs in its modern use as the emblem of the House of Capet. The fleur-de-lis has been associated with France after Louis VII adopted it as a symbol in the 12th century.
The red fleur-de-lis in the coat-of-arms of Florence descends from the white iris, which is native to Florence and which grew even in its city walls. This white iris, displayed against a red background, became the symbol of Florence until the Medici family, to signal a change in political power, reversed the colors, making the white one red and setting in motion a centuries-long breeding program to hybridize a red iris.