Here at Sunshine Iris Nursery we have been pleasantly surprised to discover a relationship between two of our favourite pastimes – working with our beloved iris and sharing an evening tipple once that work is done for the day.
A little known by product of the iris is orris root. This comes from the rhizomes of three types of irises, Iris germanica (German iris), Iris pallida and a variety known as Iris florentina , all grown commercially for their orris root.
Orris root has a scent that resembles violets and is used to develop this perfume. It must be dried for at least three years and ground into a powder. It is then steam distilled to obtain the essential oil, sometimes known as orris butter.
But orris root is not only added to perfumes and cosmetics – you may also find it in some types of gin – including our favourite Bombay Sapphire! Orris root is said to have lots of health benefits – not yet scientifically proven though.
So next time you are enjoying your evening gin and tonic – raise your glass to the beautiful iris! (and remember – drink responsibly!)