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Iris Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

In the tapestry of nature's artistry, the Iris blooms stand as radiant brushstrokes of the divine, painting emotions with their enchanting hues and elegant grace.

They are not merely flowers; they are poetry in petals, the embodiment of sentiments that whisper in the breeze and echo in the heart.

The Iris, a harbinger of dreams, carries within its delicate form a profound, ancient meaning that resonates with the deepest corners of the soul.

As I delve into the kaleidoscope of Iris flower symbolism, I find myself drawn into a world where each bloom unfolds a unique verse, revealing tales of hope, courage, and the profound connection between our earthly existence and the ethereal realms beyond.

With every glance at these exquisite blossoms, my spirit dances to the rhythm of their significance, and I embark on a journey to unlock the emotional secrets hidden within the Iris.

Key Takeaways

  • Poetic Elegance: The Iris, a divine brushstroke in nature, symbolizes sentiments with its radiant hues, embodying hope, wisdom and eloquence.
  • Versatile Symbol: With 300 species, the Iris, birth flower of February, is a versatile gift, each color carrying unique meanings—royalty, passion, faith, or purity.
  • Rich History: From its etymology to Christian and Islamic symbolism the Iris bridges spirituality and culture, representing the Holy Trinity and offering remembrance.
  • Cultural Significance: Across Egypt, Greece, France, and Asia, the Iris signifies royalty, spirituality, faith, and protection, weaving a rich cultural tapestry.
  • Tattoo Symbolism: Iris tattoos hold spiritual and protective meanings, symbolizing hope and remembrance with diverse designs catering to personal journeys.
  • Hopeful Remembrance: The Iris serves as a beacon of hope, motivating through challenges, and planted by graves, symbolizes continuity and hope for the future.

What Does The Flower Mean

Irises are the birth flower for February; these flowers  symbolize hope, eloquence, faith, wisdom, and communication. There are few flowers as beautiful and varied as the iris.

Many celebrated it for producing natural and profuse blue hues. These incredible flowers often appears in wedding bouquets and as ornamental decor.

It also has associations with royalty and nobility. Because it is such a varied plant, its meanings can differ according to its color, size, and shape.

However, this diversity makes it one of the most popular plants in the world. It’s a suitable gift for various occasions, and it has bound the recipient to adore it.

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Etymological Meaning Of The Flower

To understand the meanings of the iris, we also need to look at its etymological meaning.

Iris (noun) became the name of a flowering plant, “iris germanica,” in the late 14th century.

In the early 15th century, they used word in reference to the eye membrane, from the Latin ‘iris’ to mean “iris of the eye.” In Greek, ‘iris’ or genitive ‘iridos’ also meant ‘rainbow’.

Iris was once the name of the messenger of the Olympian gods, represented by the rainbow. People used this word in the oldest sections of the Iliad to refer to both the rainbow and the messenger.

In Middle English, the word ‘iris’ also meant “prismatic rock crystal”, which helped build its connotations with the eye.

The Profound Symbolism of the Iris Flower

Symbolism Meaning
Spirituality Connection between the physical and spiritual realms, wisdom, faith
Protection Belief in purifying evil energies, offering protection
Hope or Remembrance Symbol of hope in challenging times, remembrance of loved ones

Where there are flowers, there’s also symbolism. The symbolism of the iris varies between cultures. So let’s explore some of its most common symbolic meanings below.


  • Iris petals symbolize the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • Associated with the Resurrection and the Passion of Christ, as it often blooms in Spring.
  • Represents the Virgin Mary, including the tears she shed at the crucifixion.


  • The iris is linked to spirituality, drawing from its Christian associations.
  • Symbolizes the Holy Trinity and the connection between Heaven and Earth.
  • Some believe it represents intuition and psychic abilities.
  • Used in specific settings to unlock dormant psychic powers.


  • In Islam, irises are placed on loved ones' graves as a sign of remembrance, love and devotion.
  • Iris Albicans, known as the 'Cemetery iris,' is planted on graves.

Spirit Animals

  • The iris shares symbolism with spirit animals such as the stag and the deer.
  • It is also connected to spirit animals like the hawk, owl, dragonfly, turtle, and frog.
  • These spirit animals symbolize qualities like nobility, spiritual growth, wisdom and synergy.

Decoding the Messages of Iris Flower Colors

Color Meaning
Purple Royalty, Wisdom
Yellow Passion, Joy, Hope
Blue Faith, Hope, Heroism
White Purity, Tranquility, Cleanliness

The iris has between 260 to 300 species, varying in color, form, shape, and size. To understand it better, we also need to explore its color associations.

Color meanings stem from a mixture of cultural developments, psychological effects, and biological conditions.

When we see certain colors, we’re subconsciously presented with a mix of positive and negative emotions. We experience this phenomenon when we examine the colors of almost anything, including flowers.


  • Symbolizes royalty and wisdom.
  • Iconic 25th wedding anniversary flower.
  • Suitable for various occasions, with birthdays being the most common.


  • Represents passion, joy, happiness, and hope.
  • Ideal for celebrating achievements or good news.


  • Unique for its natural blue hues.
  • Associated with faith, hope, heroism (in Japan), and power and nobility (in ancient Egypt).


  • Signifies purity, tranquility and cleanliness.
  • Suitable for sympathy, well wishes, and weddings.
  • Among the iris plants, it has diverse symbolic meanings.
Iris Flower Colors

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Discovering the Intriguing Botanical Features of Flowers with Deep Significance

The iris flower is a genus of 260-300 species of flowering plant. Many usually used it as an ornamental plant in the home or garden.

Almost all species of this flower are in the Northern hemisphere zones, including Europe, North America, and Asia. It may have a diverse ecology, but it’s most often in mountain regions, meadowlands, dry semi-deserts, and even riverbanks.

The iris is famously simple to grow, and it's one of the most persistent perennials. Sadly, the it has a short lifespan. If you’re gifting this plant, you can expect it to last between five to seven days.

If planted outside, it will bloom briefly in the spring and disappear again until the next season. Although they’re fleeting, their foliage proves a stunning display every year.

When you see an iris in bloom, you won’t be surprised to know they’re named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

These incredible plants put on a bold and vibrant display every year. They may have a short lifespan, but their incredible blooms are worth it.

Celebrating with Irises: Special Occasions and Their Flower

Do you have a special occasion coming up? Flowers are a popular gift for almost any occasion, including weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and more.

If you’re looking for something special to gift your loved one, look no further than the iris. The iris is one of the most common gifted plants in the world. If you’re unsure what gifting event would be appropriate, let us walk you through some of the most memorable occasions to deliver the iris.


  • Iris flowers are an excellent choice for birthdays due to their variety of colors and shapes.
  • Particularly ideal for February birthdays, as the iris is the official flower of the February birth month, symbolizing love and best wishes.

Weddings or Anniversaries

  • Irises are versatile for weddings and anniversaries.
  • White irises can be a traditional and elegant choice, while colorful bouquets of irises add vibrancy to your special day.
  • The iris symbolizes love, health, and wisdom, making it perfect for expressing admiration during an anniversary celebration.

Get Well Soon

  • Sending irises to someone struggling with ill health is a meaningful gesture.
  • The iris's associations with faith and hope convey warm wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • With a wide variety of iris colors available, there's an iris to suit anyone's taste, making it a thoughtful get-well-soon gift.

The Cultural Significance of the Iris Flower

Culture Significance
Ancient Egypt Royalty, Perfumes
Greek Mythology Afterlife, Spiritual Connection
France Holy Trinity, French Nobility (Fleur-de-lis)
Asia Butterfly Symbol, Honoring the Deceased, Protection

Every flower has a meaning. Usually, these meanings stem from the cultural interpretations of each plant. Want to learn more about the iris?

Let’s explore the cultural significance of the iris and how this has shaped our interpretation of it.

Ancient Egypt

  • Iris depictions were common in Egyptian artwork, symbolizing royalty.
  • Iris flowers were used in ancient Egyptian perfumes, showcasing their significance in culture and fragrances.

Greek Mythology

  • In Greek mythology, the name 'iris' was initially associated with the rainbow and the Greek goddess of rainbows.
  • Iris served as a messenger between the spiritual and mortal realms and was believed to guide souls to the afterlife, giving the iris spiritual associations related to the afterlife.


  • In the early 2nd century, as France embraced Catholicism, the iris symbolized the Holy Trinity.
  • By the 5th century, the French adopted the "fleur-de-lis" symbol based on the iris, representing their faith and French nobility.


  • In Chinese culture, the iris shares meanings with the butterfly and is used to honor deceased loved ones. It's also associated with the joy of summer months.
  • Japanese culture views the iris as a symbol of protection and purity.

Fascinating Facts About The Iris Flower

Now, let’s explore some of the most fascinating facts about the iris.

Royalty And Wisdom

The purple iris is often associated with royalty and wisdom, making it a regal and prestigious flower.

Birthday Flower

The iris is the official flower of the February birth month, signifying love and best wishes for those born in this month.

Passion And Joy

Yellow irises symbolize passion and are associated with joy, happiness, and hope, making them ideal for celebrating achievements and good news.

Faith And Hope

Blue irises are unique for their natural blue hues and are associated with faith and hope. In Japan, they represent heroism, while ancient Egyptians saw them as symbols of power and nobility.

Purity And Tranquility

White irises are linked to purity, tranquility and cleanliness. They are versatile and can symbolize a pure heart or mind, making them suitable for various occasions, including weddings and sympathy messages.

Protection And Spirituality

The iris is believed to protect against evil energies in Japanese culture and is associated with spirituality, wisdom, and faith, making it a meaningful choice for those on a spiritual journey.

Hope And Remembrance

The iris serves as a symbol of hope, offering motivation to push through challenging times. It's also a powerful symbol of remembrance for loved ones, as it is planted by graves in some cultures to commemorate and offer hope to visitors.

Iris Red Flower

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Unlocking the Diverse Uses of Iris Flowers

The iris also has a range of practical uses. Let’s explore some of the most common ones below.

Medicinal Uses

  • Historically, iris plant roots were used to treat various ailments, including stomach issues, skin infections, and syphilis.
  • Today, iris roots are occasionally used for liver purging.
  • In alternative medicine, yellow iris is used to combat dandruff, while white iris can help alleviate bronchitis and asthma symptoms.
  • Iris oil, extracted from the flowers, finds application in sedative medicine and aromatherapy.
  • Dried iris rhizomes are sometimes given to babies to aid with teething.

Aesthetic Purposes

  • Iris flowers, despite their beauty, are toxic, leading to their primary use for ornamental purposes.
  • They are commonly planted as accent flowers, used in beautiful borders, or given as gifts for special occasions.

What Is The Symbolism Of An Iris Flower Tattoo

Have you ever seen an iris tattoo? Wondering what it means? Let’s take a look at the symbolism behind an iris tattoo below.


  • The iris is a meaningful choice for those on a spiritual awakening or growth journey.
  • It represents links between the physical and spiritual realms, with associations of wisdom and faith, making it a fitting tattoo for spiritual individuals.


  • In Japan, the iris is believed to purify evil energies and provide protection to those who possess it.
  • An iris tattoo can symbolize this protective quality, offering peace of mind.

Hope or Remembrance

  • For those facing challenges or seeking motivation, the iris serves as a powerful symbol of hope.
  • Diverse designs and colors provide ample choices.
  • In remembrance of a loved one, an iris tattoo can be a poignant symbol, similar to the practice of planting irises by graves in Islam to offer hope and remembrance.

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Final Thoughts

The iris has a rich and diverse history. Whether you’re looking for a new plant to add to your collection, or you want to give a loved one a gift to remember, the iris is a suitable plant for almost any occasion or living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the purple iris symbolize?

The purple iris symbolizes royalty and wisdom. It is often associated with regal qualities and is the iconic flower for the 25th wedding anniversary.

What is the significance of yellow irises?

Yellow irises symbolize passion, joy, happiness, and hope. They are a great choice for celebrating achievements and good news.

What unique qualities are attributed to blue irises?

Blue irises are unique for their natural blue hues. They symbolize faith and hope and are associated with heroism in Japanese culture and power and nobility in ancient Egypt.

What do white irises represent?

White irises signify purity, tranquility, and cleanliness. They are versatile and can symbolize a pure heart or mind, making them suitable for various occasions, including weddings and sympathy messages.

How are irises connected to spirituality?

Irises are associated with spirituality, wisdom, and faith. They are often chosen as tattoos by individuals on a spiritual awakening or growth journey.

What is the protective symbolism of irises in Japanese culture?

In Japan, the iris is believed to purify evil energies and is thought to offer protection to those who possess it, making it a symbol of protection.

How do irises represent hope and remembrance?

Irises can serve as powerful symbols of hope for individuals facing challenges. They also offer a meaningful way to remember loved ones, similar to the practice of planting irises by graves in some cultures to commemorate and offer hope to visitors.

Iris Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More