Celebrating the Beauty of Irises on National Iris Day

Each year on May 8th, people all over the world explore the diversity of this unique flower.

By: THURSD. | 01-05-2024 | 5 min read
Special Days
National Iris Day celebration

The beautiful and versatile Iris has captured the hearts of gardeners and flower enthusiasts for centuries. With its stunning colors and intricate petal patterns, the Iris truly deserves a special day of recognition. National Iris Day is an annual celebration dedicated to appreciating the beauty and diversity of this remarkable flower. In this article, we will delve into the world of Irises, discover the significance of National Iris Day, and explore public gardens that showcase these stunning blooms.

Every year on May 8th, Iris Day is celebrated by gardening enthusiasts and flower lovers around the United States. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the Iris flower and its various species, which come in a plethora of colors and patterns.

National Iris Day - A Colorful Celebration

Iris Day presents an opportunity for people to learn about the historical and cultural significance of the flower, as well as its importance in horticulture. Attendees can participate in flower shows, workshops, and gardening events, or simply take the time to admire the beauty of Irises in their own gardens or local parks.


A field of Iris flowers
Photo: @stem_fuse

Iris as a Flower - A Symbol of Style and Royalty

The Iris is an ancient flower, with depictions found in Egyptian art and Greek mythology. Named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris, the flower represents the link between heaven and earth. With over 300 species, Irises come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, from the familiar bearded Iris to the delicate Japanese Iris.


A bunch of colorful irises for National Iris Day
Photo: @gordalegardencentre

Symbolically, Irises are associated with faith, wisdom, hope, and valor. In ancient Greece, they were considered a symbol of power and majesty, often used to adorn the scepters of kings and queens. Today, the Iris continues to be a beloved garden flower, prized for its beauty and resilience.



National Iris Day's Meaning

So National Iris Day on May 8th in the United States is dedicated to appreciating the beauty and diversity of the Iris flower. The day serves to promote awareness and admiration for the Iris, which has a rich history and cultural significance across various societies.



Purple irises for Iris Day
Purple irises to celebrate National Iris Day

Irises have been cherished throughout history for their elegance and symbolic associations with faith, wisdom, hope, and valor. By celebrating National Iris Day, people can learn to acknowledge the important role Irises have played in art, mythology, and cultural heritage across various civilizations.

National Iris Day - Honoring the Diversity of the Iris Genus

National Iris Day is a time to celebrate the incredible variety of Iris species and cultivars. From bearded Irises with their distinctive 'beards' on the falls (lower petals) to the delicate Siberian and Japanese Irises, the genus Iris boasts an impressive array of plants. National Iris Day encourages gardeners and flower enthusiasts to explore the diversity of this flower, learn about its unique characteristics, and appreciate the role it plays in gardens and landscapes across the nation.


White lilac and yellow Iris
Photo: @bobandmarge

Public Gardens With Irises Are a Feast for the Eyes

There is no better way to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Irises than by visiting public gardens dedicated to showcasing them. Many botanical gardens and parks across the United States feature Iris displays, particularly during the blooming season in late spring. Some well-known gardens with extensive Iris collections include the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in New Jersey, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon. These gardens provide visitors with a chance to see various species and cultivars of Irises up close, as well as to learn about their cultivation and care.

National Iris Day Wildcat Red
Photo by @schreinersgardens


Iris Day in Belgium With the Iris Flower as a Symbol of the Brussels Capital

In Belgium, Iris Day 'Fête de l'Iris' is not directly related to the Iris flower but rather to the regional symbol of the Brussels-Capital Region. The Iris Day celebration typically takes place annually around May 8th, marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Brussels-Capital Region in 1989. The Iris flower was chosen as the symbol of the region due to its historical connection with the area, where wild yellow Irises (Iris pseudacorus) used to grow abundantly around the Senne River.


Man surrounded by Irises
Photo: @sapandsteam

Iris Day in Belgium is celebrated with various festivities, which may include:

While Iris Day in Belgium is not specifically focused on the cultivation and appreciation of the Iris flower, it is a celebration of the Brussels-Capital Region and its people, with the Iris as its emblematic symbol.


Iris Day to Celebrate Brussels
Photo by @sarahfortune

Whether you attend a local event, plant Irises in your own garden, or visit a public garden showcasing these magnificent flowers, take the time to appreciate the Iris on this special day do yourself a favor, and get some Irises for yourself while you admire them!


Header image by @uclafacultyclub, Feature by @sarahfortune.


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