If you visit the Florentine part of Chiantishire (around San Polo in Chianti) in May, you will be surrounded by thousands of irises (iris pallida or “giaggiolo” in Florentine dialect) blossoming between olive trees and vineyards.
Iris was planted in Chiantishire around 1850 from farmers needing a second income in the summer times,
when irises' roots - rhizomes - were worked. After been dried, the rhizomes were sold for medical and cosmetique purposes. Now only a few families keep on working the irises' rhizomes that have been replaced in industry by synthetic and less expensive products. Tuscany celebrate this ancient savoir-faire every year during the month of May. I hope that all those family businesses that still work this precious flower will be appreciated more and more and helped to grow.
Read more about the working method from Sagrona farm and Pruneti farm.
Pictures taken in Lamole in Chianti and Vignamaggio 14th century Villa.
....my sweet Lizzy....