Floral Power

Floral Power

Iris by FS*B

The Iris is one of the oldest flowers that was praised for its beauty of shape, color and scent. Its history dates back at least 3500 years. The earliest depictions were found in the antique palace of Knossos on the Greek isle of Crete. They show the Iris as a wild flower growing in the landscape along with Roses. The Greeks named it after the messenger of the gods, Iris, who traveled between heaven and earth on a rainbow and communicated between the gods and the humans. The Greeks were also the first ones who distilled the scent of the Iris for the production of perfumes.

Iris by FS*B

Today, many varieties of Irises exist. The flower grows in a magnificent color palette from white to nearly black. There are two main types: The bearded and the beardless Iris – exactly the same as the type of men you meet in Berlin. Where to find the flower growing in the city? We spotted beautiful small fields of Irises in different varieties in south Neukölln.

 

There are many outdoor locations in Berlin to enjoy a beautiful sunny Sunday. If you are looking for a place with a special atmosphere you should visit Neukölln’s Körnerpark which was built exactly 100 years ago. The park is below street level and while entering it from above you get a good view of its perfect symmetry. Its architecture resembles a Baroque garden with an Orangery, which today hosts a gallery and a café, on one side and a cascade with fountains on the other. The big lawn in the center is surrounded by flower beds and trees.

Iris by FS*B

In the month of May, the Irises are the main act of the Körnerpark. They grown in different colors ranging from soft beige to pastel rose and to variations in light yellow and dark purple. The shape of the blossoms resemble an elaborate architecture, constructed by three „falls“ and there „standards“ which give the Iris a symmetrical and imposing look similar to a sword.

 

Maybe this similarity, which also becomes apparent in the German name for the Iris, Schwertlilie (Sword Lily), is the reason why it became a symbol of power in the Middle Ages. In the legend of the king of the Franks, Louis I. Iris flowers are the central figures of his victory: While the father of the French nation was fighting the Alemanns, Irises indicated him a favorable place for his troops and helped him win the battle. From then on, the king bear the Iris in his coat of arms. As „Fleur de Lis“ it became the symbol the Bourbon kings. The flowers were embroiled onto the banners of king Louis VII. who went on the crusade and they also decorated the scenery of the coronation of Louis VIII. Today, the Fleur de Lis is part of the unicode system with the number U+269C (9884).

Historical picture
Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile in the city of Reims in 1223. Miniature from the Brandes Chroniques de France of 1450, Bibliothèque nationale

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