The florentine iris graces the Scented Garden with its delicate blooms.
Comprising approximately 300 species from the northern hemisphere, the genus Iris is identifiable by the distinct flowers, which bear three large reflex outer petals (falls); three smaller, erect, inner petals (standards); and three stamens. Some species and cultivars have a prominent beard on the fall, including this one, and these are the most widely cultivated members of the genus. All bearded iris are rhizomatous, with rhizomes spreading across the soil surface, and they have fans of sword-shaped leaves. They particularly enjoy a sunny situation and good drainage. Iris germanica var. florentina produces scented white flowers on stems to 100cm in height. The dried, powdered rhizomes of this species are a source of orriss root, a valuable source of sweet fragrance in the perfume industry.