Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for May 8th - May 17th, 2006
This is Iris x sambucina.
It is a hybrid between Iris variegata and Iris pallida that dates back to 1759.
Irises are the source of orrisroot, a powder derived from dried and pulverized rhizomes.
It serves as a fixative in perfumes and potpourris. It has the ability to hold volatile
fragrances for a long time, slowly releasing them over time. You can find Iris x sambucina
in the Antique and Heritage Rose Garden in the National Herb Garden.