"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
A Profusion of Irises: Friday Fleur-de-lis

A Profusion of Irises: Friday Fleur-de-lis

From The Reason For Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives by Stephen Buchmann:

Sovereign nations have often selected a particular flower to represent them based on a rich folklore or religious beliefs coupled with the heraldry of old ruling families. The national flower of Malaysia is the bunga raya, the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), while the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is the national flower of India, and the fleur-de-lis emblem, derived from the iris, represents France.”

I could have just called this post “Friday Flowers” but every now and then a guy just wants to say “Fleur-de-lis.”

There’s a lot of French or French-Canadian in the leaves of my family tree, so that’s maybe why I like French-sounding phrases. I used to speak the language fairly well — though was actually better at reading it than engaging in conversation — but most of that skill has dissipated from lack of use. I sometimes still try to watch a movie or TV show that’s in French without turning on the English subtitles; it doesn’t go that well yet you might be surprised at how much of the plot and character development you can catch on to even when you only get about a third of the words right.

Fleur-de-lis! Fleur-de-lis!

I would like to move on from iris photos but still have a few dozen left to post, so to make progress with that I picked out some that most closely resemble the classic fleur-de-lis shape for the three little galleries below.

The previous posts in this series are:

A Profusion of Irises: Lost Spring Edition

A Profusion of Irises: Backlit Blooms

A Profusion of Irises: Sun-Kissed Shades of Orange

A Profusion of Irises: White Blooms on Black Backgrounds

A Profusion of Irises: Black (Iris) Friday!

A Profusion of Irises: Iris No. 1

Thanks for taking a look!


  1. Très bon. I don’t know any French, and when I tried to say this phrase, my phone spelled out “Chase Bank.”. Never knew that the fleur-de-lis was supposed to be an iris. You have some beautiful shots, as always.

    1. Dale

      Howdy. For some reason I always thought the fleur-de-lis symbol was based on irises, but then I was reading about it for this post and found some articles that say it’s derived from the iris flower and others that say it’s derived from lilies. So apparently it’s origin story varies depending on locale, local history, and usage. There’s a rabbit hole for everything these days!

      Last week lilies (not irises) were in full bloom at Oakland, so I’ll post some of those after a while and can call them “fleur-de-lis” too.

      Thanks for the comment!

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