There are many types of Iris, but only two types are produced for florists - the Bearded Iris and the Dutch Iris. The Dutch Iris stem is pencil shaped, opening up to reveal a single flower with 3 sepals, coloured purple or royal blue and each with a yellow centre when fully unfurled. Dutch Irises are also available in yellow or white, although blue is by far the most popular. This is due to it being the only readily available cut flower in blue, making it useful for baby-boy arrangements.
The Bearded, or German, Iris is different in that its petals form delicate curls. It is a great garden flower, and is available in a variety of colours. However, the Bearded flower only blooms in late spring, meaning it is rarely used as a cut flower.
The Iris is a bulb flower and grows best in cold climates in Tasmania or in cooled greenhouses, similar to the tulip. The Iris is the real original ‘Fleur de Lys’, a decorative symbol for European Royalty.