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National Flower Of France: Mystery Behind The Fleur De Lis

National Flower Of France: Mystery Behind The Fleur De Lis

Today you will learn more about the national flower of France. The beautiful iris or lily flower has been a very important part of French history since ancient times. Today we will learn all the stories that are hidden behind its petals.

In today’s article about the national flower of France, we will talk about the symbolism of this flower, its spiritual meaning, its characteristics, and its interesting history.

Since ancient times, French monarchs and royal families have loved and enjoyed the appearance and fragrance of this flower. Let’s find out below why this flower is so special.

If you’re ready, make yourself a coffee, and let’s start reading. And if you want to know more about types of lilies and their meanings try our other article on this topic.

Fleur De Lis: National Flower Of France Features

  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Growth type: medium-fast grower
  • Flower color: white, purple, golden
  • Leaf shape: sword-shaped flowers
  • Water needs: water regularly on a weekly basis
  • Soil type: free-draining soil
  • Humidity: 60-70%
  • Fertilizer: bonemeal, potash

Centuries ago, these flowers were the symbol of many royal families due to their elegant appearance.

Irises are perennial plants. They are very easy to grow, they do not need special care and they reproduce very easily. They usually bloom in late spring, right after tulips and daffodils.

Why Is Fleur De Lis Symbol (National Flower Of France)?

Back in the 13th century, the flower of France-iris pseudacorus, presented light and life. Three petals among the holy trinity presented wisdom, bravery, and faith. All of these reasons were enough for the french monarchy back then to choose this flower as its national flower.

Back then, the flower wasn’t the official national flower of France as it is today. But it was a flower that was most used on their emblems, objects, castles, etc.

What’s The Symbolism Of Flower De Luce In French Monarchy?

The meaning of the fleur-de-lis is manifold. According to later interpretations of French rulers/monarchs, the fleur-de-lis symbolizes their purity and faith.

According to Georges Duby, the three “leaves” symbolize the three medieval castes: those who pray, those who fight, and those who work.

But Guess What? Fleur De Lis Isn’t A Real Flower!

No matter where in France you travel, northern France or south France, you won’t spot a Fleur de lis flower anywhere around you since it’s not a real flower.

It is designed, as a stylized emblem of France. And it exists only on paper, walls, and objects, but does not exist in the real world. Even if you google it, you will only get designs and logos, but not a flower in nature.

Why Is Iris Flower Called Lily Flower Since It’s Not An Actual Lily?

If we include biological and geographical factors in the research, a completely new view of the fleur-de-lis emerges.

The 18th-century French naturalist Pierre Augustin Boissier de Sauvages noted that the traditional fleur-de-lis is yellow, while the European lily is white.

The only yellow lily is Canadian, of course, unknown to the French. Furthermore, he noted that the French people migrated to today’s France from Belgium, where they lived by the river Lil, along which yellow irises grow in large numbers.

It is not difficult to assume that the French rulers had the yellow iris in mind when they created the fleur-de-lis symbol.

If you compare the plants, it is not difficult to conclude that the fleur-de-lis is more like an iris than a lily. It is the iris that has three petals, not the lily.

Since When The Golden Fleurs De Lis Has Been Used?

The fleur-de-lis is a fairly universal and ancient heraldic symbol. We meet it since antiquity among the Gauls (France), the Scythians (Ukraine), and the Kushan dynasty in India.

It is necessary to conceptually distinguish between “Fleur-de-lis” and “Lily”. Fleur-de-lis is the name of this heraldic symbol.

Outside the borders of France, the symbol is spread by the ruling house of Anjou, which manages to acquire the English and Neapolitan crowns.

The Angevins will acquire the Hungarian crown from Naples. They will add the fleur-de-lis to the coats of arms of England, Naples, and Hungary.

The French Bourbon dynasty will expand into Spanish and Luxembourg heraldry. French overseas possessions also adopt the fleur-de-lis for their symbols, such as Quebec, for example. Unrelated to the French tradition, the Florentine Republic also used the fleur-de-lis as its symbol.

What Are General Symbolisms/Meanings Of Fleurs De Lis?

The symbolism of beautiful iris flower is a symbol of royal dignity, elegance, triumph, and glory. That’s exactly why the French royals still love him, just like they used to,

Iris is a spring flower that is a symbol of new life and immortality, so it was often planted on graves because it expresses faith in rebirth and eternal life.

In faraway Japan, the iris also signified nobility and courage. In Japan, a bath in water covered with iris flowers was part of a traditional coming-of-age rite of passage from boyhood to manhood.

Flower De Luce Meaning Among Romans And Middle Ages

Middle ages are crucial for the title of this flower: the title of the national flower of France. During the middle ages, irises officially became truly linked to French Royalty.

Earlier, they were using it for many other purposes: medical reasons, they were making perfumes, decorating gardens and tables with these flowers, but in the middle ages, the flower of France-iris pseudacorus finally got its deserved long-waited title.

Fleur De Luce And Its Connection To the Roman Catholic Church

French ruling houses have used it on their coats of arms and flags since Clovis I, the Frankish ruler who first embraced Christianity.

The symbol was associated with the dynasty’s divine right to power. The fleur-de-lis symbolizes the Holy Trinity, and since the 11th century, also the Virgin Mary.

Since frescoes of Mary appear with this symbol in her right hand, it makes perfect sense. In the 12th century, English noblewomen wore the fleur-de-lis as a symbol of their faith and morality. Generally, the meaning revolves around the number three and the symbol of purity.

France’s National Flower Use In Other Royal Emblems

A newer and completely different theory brings a whole new perspective on the fleur-de-lis. It has recently been noticed that the old Frankish signets, the signet rings of rulers, are not engraved with fleur-de-lis, but with bees. Although it looks incredible, it is not difficult to make a bee into a fleur-de-lis by styling it.

Another important coincidence is the coat of arms from the cathedral in Konstanz, first mentioned in 615, which was noticed quite by chance by photographer Andrew Gough. On this coat of arms, the fleur-de-lis is represented as three bees above a beehive.

It’s been said and pointed out that this symbol-lily flower-fleur de Lis has been used for the decorative design of the famous blue robe (french coat) of King Louis VII, and that it represents french royalty, the french throne, and the french crown.

It is important to mention that the cathedral has been renovated and reconstructed several times, but there is also the possibility that the coat of arms is original. It is certainly not contemporary and represents an interesting clue in the study of the origin of the fleur-de-lis.

French Kings Adoration Of Lily Flowers

The modern symbol geographically originates from today’s France and is traditionally associated with the French monarchy.

As we mentioned above, they even used it for the royal decorations of many objects, clothes, architectural purposes, and so on.

In the 17th century, Louis Vii even made a couple of gardens and woods in which he planted these flowers exactly.

In The Jardin des Plantes, the most famous botanic garden in Paris, you can also spot many iris flowers there and that botanical garden dates back in time.

National Flower Of France: FAQ


As always, we make sure we answer all of your questions about a certain topic. Today, that topic is the national flower of France. Below, we bring you some unanswered questions about the iris/lily flower. Let’s see what we have prepared for you below.

Is Fleur De Lis Also A Catholic Symbol?

The Catholic church uses this symbol as their symbol as well since it can represent, its three petals: the holy trinity and Virgin Mary.

What Does A Fleur De Lis Tattoo Mean?

If you want to get a new tattoo and decide on a fleur de lis, your tattoo will mean bravery, honor, and freedom.

History Of Iris Flowers – National Flower Of France

Iris flowers have been known to man since ancient times. On the island of Crete, which was located near the walls of the Knossos Palace, a priest is shown surrounded by blooming irises.

This fresco is about 4000 years old and that in itself tells us how far this flower dates back. In the Middle Ages, irises were grown in the gardens of castles and monasteries. From where they were transferred to the gardens of citizens.

The flower was named in ancient Greece after the goddess Iris, so we can safely say that the iris flower is actually a Greek word, which came down to earth as a messenger of the gods at the “end of the rainbow.” The very word “Iris” means rainbow in Greek.

Wrapping It Up

I hope that today you have learned everything you wanted to get in this article about the national flower of France.

If you didn’t know so much until now, I’m sure that this article pleased you with facts and information and that you learned a lot about the iris flower, the famous symbol of France.

I also advise you to save this article, somewhere nearby. So that you have it at your fingertips if you like to read about this stuff, every time you remember something or want to refresh your memory.

That would be all in today’s article. See you soon with more similar topics!