Among many of Croatia’s symbols is the enchanting Iris flower, which has a proud status as the country’s national flower.
The Choice of Iris as Croatia’s National Flower
The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts declared the Iris the national flower of Croatia at a flower show held in Japan back in 2000.
Back then, it was promoted under the slogan: “A flower in every corner of the world, a flower as a symbol of peace among nations.”
Beyond its aesthetic allure, the Iris symbolises Croatia’s deep-rooted history, resilience, and the vibrant spirit of its people. It was chosen for its deep historical significance and its prevalence in the country’s natural landscapes. Its elegant blooms, which flourish in various regions of Croatia, reflect the nation’s resilience and beauty.
The Iris serves as a poignant reminder of Croatia’s endurance through challenging times and its ability to blossom despite adversity, making it a befitting emblem for the nation.
Relevance to Croatia
Croatia’s connection with the Iris runs deep, with historical references dating back to ancient times. The flower’s presence in Croatian art, literature, and folklore exemplifies its cultural importance.
In Croatian culture, the iris flower holds significance. Its name, perunika, is linked to the god Perun and his wife, Perunika. According to legend, where lightning struck, irises of various colours appeared.
Different regions in Croatia have their names for it, like Ljelja and bogiša.
Croatia boasts twelve species of wild iris, with some endemic to specific regions. The colours of iris signify different traits: purple for wisdom, blue for hope, yellow for passion, and white for innocence. It’s advised not to pick protected varieties to avoid angering Perun, the god. But worry not, as new flowers will bloom where lightning strikes.
Insight into the Iris Flower
The Iris, belonging to the Iridaceae family, is renowned for its striking appearance and diverse colour palette. With over 200 species, the Iris exhibits an array of colours, including shades of purple, blue, yellow, white, and orange. Renowned for its sword-shaped leaves and intricate, petal-like sepals, the Iris is revered for its elegant and alluring demeanour.
This hardy flower thrives in various climates, symbolising resilience and adaptability, qualities that are emblematic of Croatia’s own history and character.
Furthermore, the Iris holds a rich symbolism across different cultures, signifying faith, wisdom, and valor. Its intricate layers are often associated with the complexity and depth of human emotions, reflecting the multifaceted nature of Croatia’s society and the profound experiences that have shaped the nation’s identity.