Flower Meanings

Iris Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Iris Flower Meaning & Symbolism

The iris flower is a beautiful bloom with a rich history and symbolism. Its name itself, derived from the Greek word for “rainbow,” reflects the vibrant range of colors that irises come in. In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess who served as a messenger between the heavens and the earth, often depicted traveling along rainbows. The meaning of iris flower is deeply rooted in its connection to the goddess Iris. This floral emblem, rich in color and form, resonates with the profound messages of the celestial messenger, offering inspiration and guidance.

The iris flower’s symbolism extends beyond its mythological associations. The flower’s structure itself contributes to its meaning. The three upright petals are often interpreted as representing faith, valor, and wisdom, while the three drooping sepals can symbolize hope, faith, and love. Additionally, the specific color of the iris flower can hold further meaning. For instance, blue irises are associated with hope and faith, while yellow irises represent passion and creativity.

Iris Flower Meaning

meaning of the iris flower

Irises, with their vibrant petals and elegant posture, hold a place of significance beyond their undeniable beauty. They are steeped in symbolism and meaning, a testament to their rich history. Across cultures, the iris flower is generally recognized as a symbol of faith, hope, wisdom, and courage. The upward reach of its petals and the bright colors it boasts evoke a sense of optimism for the future and the strength to face challenges with wisdom. But the meaning of the iris flower goes deeper. Specific colors hold additional layers of meaning, allowing you to tailor your message perfectly when giving this beautiful bloom as a gift.


The iris often symbolizes faith, serving as a reminder that despite life’s challenges, there is always something constant and reliable to hold onto.


Similarly, the iris represents embodies hope. It stands tall and blooms brightly, encouraging us to look forward to new beginnings and possibilities.


The flower iris meaning also includes courage. Its robust nature and ability to thrive in various conditions make it a symbol of strength and bravery.


Moreover, the meaning of an iris flower extends to wisdom. This is reflected in its regal presence, often associated with ancient royalty and deities who were revered for their intellect.


Lastly, to give someone irises is to express admiration. The flower’s beauty and grace are often seen as a reflection of the qualities we admire in others.

Iris Flower Colour Meanings

flower iris meaning

While the general meaning of an iris flower is positive, the specific color adds another layer of meaning to your message:
Each hue of the iris carries its own special symbolism. For instance, purple irises are linked to wisdom and royalty, while blue ones denote faith and hope. Yellow irises burst with passion, and white ones speak to purity.

Blue Iris

Blue iris flowers symbolize hope and faith, are a testament to trust and loyalty. They also embody wisdom and courage, making them a profound iris flower symbol. They’re a perfect choice for conveying a message of trust and optimism.

Orange Iris

The meaning of an iris flower in orange is vibrant, denoting passion and creativity. Also orange irises represent enthusiasm and excitement. So, if you want to express joy or congratulations, a bouquet of orange irises would be a vibrant choice.

Red Iris

Red irises, though rare, hold a deep meaning of iris flower associated with courage and appreciation. They also represent a burning passion, embodying the essence of deep love.

Brown Iris

Brown irises convey a sense of stability and reliability, reflecting the flower iris meaning of earthiness and a connection to nature’s grounding force.

Black Iris

Black irises are enigmatic, carrying a meaning iris flower of elegance and authority. They often signify major life changes or transitions, adding depth to the iris flower meaning.

Purple Iris

iris flower symbol

The meaning of an iris flower in purple is regal, symbol of wisdom and royalty It’s a color that commands respect and dignity, enhancing the iris flower symbol. Deep purple irises, often referred to as black irises, convey mystery and wisdom. They can also symbolize strength and royalty.

White Iris

White irises stand for purity and innocence, their iris meaning flower associated with new beginnings and life’s purest moments.

Pink Iris

Pink irises exude a flower iris meaning of playfulness and joy. They represent gentleness and are a sweet symbol of friendship and affection.

Yellow Iris

Yellow irises burst with a meaning iris flower of good health and happiness. They symbolize the joy of friendship and the warmth of platonic love, enriching the iris flower meaning.

The iris flower is particularly significant in Greece, where it takes its name from the goddess Iris, a messenger between gods and humans. Irises are also the state flower of Tennessee in the United States.

When choosing an iris flower as a gift, consider the meaning associated with the color and the occasion. A bouquet of irises can be a thoughtful and beautiful way to express your emotions and well wishes.

Iris Flower History & Insights

meaning iris flower

The iris flower boasts a rich history and interesting insights beyond its beautiful colors. Here’s a dive into its fascinating past:

Ancient Cultivation: Believe it or not, the iris flower has been cultivated for millennia! Evidence suggests cultivation began in 1749 BC, after King Thutmose III of Egypt conquered Syria, a land known for its abundance of irises.

Mythological Connection: The very name “iris” stems from Greek mythology. Iris, the goddess who served as a messenger between gods and mortals, was often depicted with a rainbow-colored robe. This connection makes sense considering the iris flower’s vast array of colors.

Symbolism Across Cultures: The iris flower’s meaning transcends cultures. In general, it represents faith, hope, wisdom, and courage. However, specific colors hold additional meaning. For instance, in Japan, the iris signifies valor and is associated with samurai warriors.

Medicinal Uses: Historically, the iris flower held medicinal importance. Herbalists used various iris parts to address ailments like digestive issues, joint pain, and headaches. It’s important to note that this use should be consulted with a medical professional before attempting.

Modern Significance: Today, the iris remains a popular flower choice. They come in various colors, making them suitable for diverse occasions. Irises are the state flower of Tennessee, and their vibrant blooms continue to grace gardens worldwide.

When Should You Give Someone Irises?

Irises are perfect for many occasions. However, they are particularly fitting when you wish to convey deep sentiments such as respect, admiration, or inspiration. They are also traditionally given for 25th wedding anniversaries, symbolizing a quarter-century of cherished memories and enduring love.

In essence, the iris flower symbol is a complex one, woven from threads of mythology, history, and the human emotions that these timeless blooms continue to evoke. So, whether you’re celebrating a milestone or offering support, the iris is a beautiful way to communicate your heartfelt message.

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