Iris, iris or iris?

My favourite flowers are irises, and I had them in my wedding bouquet; there is something about the shape of the flower, and whether they are dwarves or extra tall, I really love them! I was just looking up to see when they come into flower and realised that the word ‘iris’ refers to many other things as well. Obviously I knew about the iris of an eyes, and that it is a name which was popular many years ago (my husband wasn’t keen, so our daughter is not called Iris!)

I discovered that iris can be

  • a colour – I guess it would be the classic purply blue, but there are so many different shades of purply blue it would be difficult to know exactly what shade was meant!
  • the Greek goddess of the sea and sky and a personification of a rainbow – how lovely! her parents were Thaumas and  Electra, and she had a number of sisters including the harpies.
  • a genus of praying mantis which has fourteen different species
  • towns in California and West Virginia, and a waterfall in Wyoming
  • loads of different graphic/information/IT/science systems
  • several ships including the HMS Iris and the USS Iris, also planes, boat planes and trains
  • natural history/science/astronomical things oh and computer games
  • films/TV programmes
  • singers/bands/songs/albums

So when do irises come into flower? Small or dwarf irises flower in April, the taller ones flower in May!