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
Orris root is the natural fixative for
preserving the scent of pot pourri mixes.
The orris powder comes from the dried
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
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
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.
Grove Road, RD10