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It’s been a time of exuberant – rampant even – growth in and around the Urban Pond. Duckweed coats the surface and has to be regualrly creamed off to save the Pond from choaking. Within this manic profusion of growth, standing tall is the stately Yellow Iris. The plant is named after the rainbow goddess ‘Iris,’ a reflection of the variety of colours in the flowers of the genus. Only two Irises are naturally wild plants in this country, I. pseudacorus (the Yellow Flag) and I. foetidissima (the Stinking Iris).

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Yellow Iris or Flag (I. pseudacorus VN. Segg or Jacob’s Sword) is commonly found throughout Britain in wetlands and by streams and rivers. It’s self-seeding in, but not yet found on the margins of, the Urban Pond.

 

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The overview of the pond in late May…

 

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It’s sometimes suggested that the flower of the Flag is the origin of the ‘fleur de lis’ of heraldry. ¬†Certainly in many cultures the¬†Iris stood as a symbol of power and majesty, with the three main leaves of the flower standing for faith, wisdom and valour.

 

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An alternative name ‘Seg’ is from the Anglo-Saxon for short sword. A reference of the blade-like leaves?

 

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