Orris Root

Iris florentina

Iris florentina is the white-flowered to pale lavender variant of Iris germanica. Collected in Italy, and then introduced to Northern Europe in about 1500. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions worldwide, and grown to produce orris root – a scented substance used in perfumes, soaps, tooth cleanser, and laundry powder. Medicinally it was used as an expectorant and decongestant.

Water: Can’t get waterlogged

Hardiness: Frost Hardy

Habit: Rhizomatous perennial with a thick violet-scented rhizome, sword-like green or grey-green semi-evergreen leaves, a tall branched stem, and many flowers that are white and tinged or flushed with blue, pale blue, or lavender

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Sandy, rocky, dry soils

Origin: Southern Europe, mainly Italy (including the city of Florence) and France

Orris Root