when i was a kid my mother grew bearded irises, just off the front porch of our house in wentzville, mo. loads of them. they were so pretty and they smelled soooo good. there have been a lot of posts in blogland about spring and summer's most loved and coveted flowers, mainly i hear about roses, peonies, lily of the valley, lilacs...but i have not heard one mention of this crazy looking beast of a flower. i'm not sure why, it's so beautiful..albeit a bit predator looking from the movie of the same name. but the smell? heavenly. anyway...whenever i smell one it takes me back to my childhood. and i love that. also in my iris research i found out that this flower is the inspiration behind the fleur-de-lys symbol. cool.
this is the actual 'beard' of an iris.