26 December 2007

History of Iris


In 1958 Buckner Hollingsworth's, "Flower Chronicles" was published by Rutgers University Press. Each chapter summarizes the history of an individual flower.
IRIS
"Namesake of a goddess; symbol of a Bronze Age religion; heraldic device of the kings of France; "soveraigne" remedy for a vast number of ailments from weak eyes to insanity; flavor for various beverages hard and soft; basis for countless perfumes and powders; ornament of our gardens. The Who's Who item of the iris is a long and distinguished one."
Hollingsworth gardened on acreage for 25-years and when she and her husband moved to a small house lot in the town where they managed a museum, she used her extra time to research favorite plants.
Folklore, herbology, medicine and poetry are included, along with historical references.
Did you know that Iris is the flower of the fleurs-de-lis? Or that it is pictured in frescoes from 3 or 4 thousand years ago?
Early medical practitioners used iris root to clear phlegm in the throat, with the powdered root being called orris root.
In fact, iris were used in medicine for almost 2,000 years by rhizotomi or root diggers, the first druggists.
Dried iris roots were flung onto fires to deodorize the environment. Since the scent of iris root is that of violet flowers, the root was also used to prepare powder and perfume.
Out of print for many years, "Flower Chronicles" was reprinted in 2004 and is now available at online booksellers, new and used.

2 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Molly. Love the focus on Iris. I read your blog often. I've nominated you and Martha for a blogging award. You can see it on my blog. Happy writing!

Molly Day said...

Thanks so much Dee. I'll put your award and blog info on All the Dirt. Now, if I could just make it to your favorite blog links list.
M