Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rainbows on earth under overcast skies

Rainy season has set in. It usually runs from early June through mid-July with consecutive cloudy or rainy days occasionally accompanied by thunder and lightning. Hanashobu iris, or Iris ensata var. ensata, starts blooming with the arrival of rainy season.  

"Iris" is from the word "rainbow" in Greek; Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow.  From this, I've figured out why the plant "iris" shares the same name with the round colored part of a person's eye.  The iris of the eye was named after her  to reflect the many colors of the eye in reference to a rainbow. The plant “iris” was given the same name probably referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species.

There are many "rainbows" on earth under the leaden skies.

So far, I have displayed the photos of 花菖蒲 Hanashobu, or Iris ensata var. ensata, which grows in the wet land and is the most extensively cultivated variety in Japanese gardens and is the most commonly referred to as “Japanese Iris”.  However, the English term "Japanese iris" encompasses three species of Irises cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan: 花菖蒲 hanashōbu (Iris ensata), 杜若 kakitsubata (Iris laevigata) and 菖蒲 ayame (Iris sanguinea), or maybe four species when シャガ Shaga (Iris japonica) is included. 

The image below is Ayame iris which grows in wet meadows, damp forest margins, and or sunny dry banks. It flowers from May to June.

Kakitsubata iris features pale purple-blue flowers at the margin of ponds, lakes, and streams, and flowers from May to June.

This photo is from Memories of Grandmother and kakitsubata iris.
Shaga, Iris japonica, commonly called fringed or Japanese irises, are perennial plants native to China and Japan. They thrive along the edges of forests, on rocky hillsides, and in moist, open grasslands, and so on. They are used as ground cover plants because of their showy evergreen foliage.

Back to Hanashobu irises, they are in full bloom now.
They are more beautiful in the drizzly rain or right after the rain.



  1. Now I know when to visit your fabulous place - I love rain and irises which look amazing in your pictures! In my place they are mostly different shades of violet. I racked my brains but failed to remember a single haiku on these unique flowers. Yet, Basho said:
    О, сколько их на полях!
    Но каждый цветет по-своему, -
    В этом высший подвиг цветка!
    I'll try to render the meaning:
    The variety of flowers is abundant, and each blooms in its own way, - that is its greatest deed.
    Thank you, Yoko, have an enjoyable summer!

  2. Thank you for these beautiful,beautiful photos. I love Iris and rain too - such a dream-like scene.

  3. Dear Yoko - I am delighted by the sight of your rainbows on earth and especially the double rainbows reflected in the water - really beautiful post.

  4. What beautiful varieties of irises. I love all the reflections, too. Such a peaceful place.

  5. These are such idyllic scenes, especially the top photo along the waterfront where reflections are framed by a big mossy branch. It is interesting to learn background information about how the flower relates to the human iris. Dark and pale shades of purple, blue, yellow and even reddish hues, indeed, can be found in flecks of eye colouring too.

  6. おはようございます、洋子さん!

    Have a good day!

  7. Gorgeous shots of the iris - and how lovely to think of them as rainbows with petals.

  8. It looks like a floral paradise ! I love it ! Just an amazing place !
    Have a nice Sunday !

  9. Gorgeous iris !!! And pictures !!! I have some but not as beautiful !!!
    Have a lovely Sunday !

  10. beautiful earth rainbows they are!

  11. Admiring those gorgeous blooms and scenic views.

  12. Vad vackert jag bara älskar irisar det finns många i min koloni. de du visar är så fina speciellt den första ljusa med svagt lila i.
    Den skulle jag vilja ha hos mig. Får gå på irisjakt.
    Här är kallt blåsigt och regn mellan solglimtarna Jag fryser och snart åker vinterjackan på. Det är inte många dagar vi suttit ute och ätit eller fikat.I fredags kväll var en av de få underbara kvällarna vi haft vi satt ute till 11 och bara njöt.
    Hoppas att värmen kommer och med den solen Nu räcker det med allt regn och blåst
    Önskar dig en fin och bra tid trotts regnperioden
    Kram Meta

  13. so beautiful, like in fairy-tale!

  14.  こんばんは。 いつも、写真がとても美しいです。3番目の写真がとても好きです。 菖蒲、この言葉ほど、困った文字は中々ありません。 アヤメと読めば、文目、綾目、があるのに、と言われ、ショウブと読めば、それは、サトイモ科の別の植物だ、しょうぶ湯、のあれだよ。と言われてしまいます。
     シャガは3倍体、3倍体は弱い植物の代名詞ですが、シャガはその反対です。 3倍体が絶滅しやすいというなら、シャガはどうなんだ、といつも反論されます。
     植物の多様性でしょうか。 アイリスが虹から来ているのですか。 素敵ですね。

  15. Wow Yoko, they are really gorgeous! I love the variety of colours....and the reflections.

    Have a lovely summer,

  16. I do love irises. Our only native (wild) ones are, I think, yellow flag irises, which make a beautiful bright splash of colour in streams and at the edges of ponds. In Greece I always like to see the tiny dark blue irises which come out in March, together with red tulips and many other flowers in uncultivated fields. .

  17. Irises are one of my favourite late spring flowers. So many colours, some small and some stately and tall. I had some in my garden when I lived in my big house, but the house is sold now, along with the irises. I hope the new owners are caring for my lovely iris! Your pictures are truly lovely.

  18. Irises are one of my favourite late spring flowers. So many colours, some small and some stately and tall. I had some in my garden when I lived in my big house, but the house is sold now, along with the irises. I hope the new owners are caring for my lovely iris! Your pictures are truly lovely.

  19. Yoko, you invited us to a marvelous iris party, thank you! We came and we are thrilled by all this beauty, these pretty hues of blue and purple, the elegance of the irises. They are princesses and reign in their special period of season time. Each one gorgeous on its own. We have to bow to nature for producing them, and be so thankful for all these wonders in our lives.
    Your photos, Yoko-san, are masterpieces as always!

  20. Beautiful, fabulous view. The flowers are beautifully and viewing the water while enjoying your Iroda. Regards.

  21. Your photos of the beautiful iris are stunning. Each iris, in whatever color, is a unique flower. My cousin in France has many irises in her garden, many are dark red. It must be difficult to stop taking photos of those iris and their surroundings in your area – truly enchanting!

  22. I have never seen so many varieties of iris! And your photos are like exquisite paintings as you wrap the lushness of the flowers and the surroundings into works of art! Thank you for sharing all of this glory.

    And thank you for all of your kind comments! You asked a question about the license plate on the Rolls Royce. In Florida, contrary to the practice of some states, you need a license plate only on the rear of the car. Thus, many people put a "vanity" plate of some kind on the front of the car. Yes, I know, we are very strange folks! :)

    Hope that you and your family are well. We're doing fine and enjoying every moment!

  23. 今更ながらなんですけど、アイリスは日本語で花菖蒲とういうのですか、、、なるほど。 無知ですみません。 えっ?あやめでも通じるんですか? アイリスは日本的な花なんだなあ、いや日本の風景に良く似合ってる。 優雅で気高い感じも好きです。 今回も超素敵な写真ばかりです。 オレゴンには梅雨がありませんので、楽なんですけど、このところ日差しが強くて、芝生が茶色になってきています。雨が降ってほしいです。 コメントがまとまらなくて、ランダムになってしまいました。すみません。

  24. OH my, i am in love
    your photos
    these flowers
    they are sublime!

  25. Amazing photos by the pond.


  26. So many Iris to enjoy! The damp days are brightened by these frilly blooms. Not only can you enjoy the flowers, but you have watery reflections that are also quite lovely. There are wild Iris blooming now in our high altitude forests, but only small clumps of them, nothing like you have shown in your photographs.

  27. Dear Yoko,

    I am so sorry I didn't have the time in the last weeks to come by and visit your blog. The end of the school year is very busy here...

    But I am glad to come by today and see such a beautiful scenery, in the first picture the place looks a little bit enchanted :-) Such beautiful flowers and pictures!

    All the best,


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