Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
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This is the text that was "Pasted from Word" using the button. Throughout the Western world, the most recognizable floral icon is perhaps the fleur-de-lis, literally “flower of the lily.” Traced back at least to the 12th century, the classic, elegant design is thought to depict a stylized iris flower. Historically, the emblem was associated with the coats of arms and flags of French royalty as well as the Trinity and Virgin Mary of the Roman Catholic Church.
Over time, the fleur-de-lis has evolved as an enduring symbol of early France and Christianity as well as a metaphor for nobility, heraldry, artistry, perfection, purity, light and life.
Since I call Louisiana home, the fleur-de-lis has been part of my heritage, too. We Louisianians adorn everything from ornamental iron, tile and glass works to street signs, flags, stationery, clothing, Mardi Gras masks and those stylish helmets of the New Orleans Saints football team with the fleur-de-lis. Moreover, in 1990, the Louisiana State Legislature adopted as the official State Wildflower an actual living fleur-de-lis: the Louisiana Iris.
Irises are distributed worldwide, particularly within temperate climates. A special variety, however, occurs naturally only in the freshwater wetlands within the lower Mississippi Delta and along the Gulf Coast. Termed “Blue Flag,” “Louisiana Flag,” “Louisiana Iris” or simply, “Louisianas,” the names apply technically not to one but to five distinct but closely related species of plants with characteristic sword-like leaves (“flags”) and lily-like flowers. The “Giant Blue Flag” or Iris giganticaerulea, the largest and most common of the group, is honored as Louisiana’s official species of wildflower.