Victorian ladies and gentlemen knew that the iris meant “I have a message for you,” in the language of flowers.

Yellow_flag_iris Photo by Tfitzp  via Wikimedia Commons
Yellow_flag_iris Photo by Tfitzp via Wikimedia Commons

The yellow flag iris, or iris pseudocorus, decorates pond margins and poorly-drained clay soils, so it loves our Somerset garden.
The Royal Horticultural Society lists several coloquial names for this common but delightful plant including:

Jacob’s sword
Water flag
Water skegs
Yellow flag
Yellow fleur-de-lis.

It grows to 3-4 feet in height and flowers in the spring. You are, however, advised not to eat it. As the Society charmingly puts it, “Ingestion may cause severe discomfort,” and the underground rhizomes are deadly. You have been warned.

This is one of a series of posts about the Victorian language of flowers and other assorted items of interest from the fascinating Victorian era visited in my 19th century novel An Independent Woman.



7 thoughts on “The Victorian Language of Flowers: I have a message for you

Comments are now closed.