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Herb of the Week for 22nd Sept 2006

Herb of the Week for 22nd September

By Lynn Kirkland


Herb of the Week for 22nd September
By Lynn Kirkland


The second harbinger of spring in the herb garden is when we notice the arrival of the delicate looking blooms of the Florentine Iris, iris germanica florentina.
This particular variety fits into our world of herbs out here at the herb farm gardens because it is the source of orris root.
Orris root is the natural fixative for preserving the scent of pot pourri mixes.
The orris powder comes from the dried rhizome.
Pot pourri makers who want to make their own orris root powder must be patient as this is not a quick process.
First one must make sure you have the correct variety as not all irises are created equal in the fragrance fixative department.
Then the rhizome must be two years old before harvesting to make orris powder.
The patience must continue even after you have dried your rhizome and ground it to a powder as the delicate violet scent and fixative properties come about over the storage time of a year or longer.
Grown and harvested in Italy for worldwide orris powder supply it is of course associated with the city of Florence or as it is called in Italy, Firenze.
Why not enjoy a little bit of Tuscany in you own backyard for the beautiful blooms or for the keen DIY folk for orris powder.
The flowers look delicate but they have stood up well to the brisk and cold Manawatu winds that have been whistling over our gardens last week.

The Herb Farm
Grove Road, RD10
New Zealand


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