Botanist's Glossary

Iris from Florence - Iris germanica cv. florentina

  • Description
    • Florence iris (Iridaceae family) is a perennial rhizome plant. It has broad, sword-shaped leaves and white flowers with a deep yellow throat that release a sweet fragrance. Naturalized in Provence, this species of iris is widely cultivated to produce the rhizome.
  • Traditions
    • In the rhizome of fragrant irises, a precursor substance produces the fragrant constituents (irones) after a very long drying period of 3 to 5 years. The dry rhizome powder had many uses in ancient beauty products (rice powder, etc.). These days, iris essence - one of the most expensive traded raw materials - is used in perfumery and cosmetics, and also as a condiment.
  • Properties
    • The root extract has soothing and decongesting properties, which make it a valuable ingredient in cosmetic products. Because it is also astringent, it helps combination to oily skin to regain a more even texture.