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Growing on the High Plains: Iris History

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Today's installment of Growing on the High Plains unfurls an intriguing history of an iconic spring flower: the iris.

One of the more dramatic spring flowers takes its name from the Greek goddess of rain and rainbows: Iris. Today's episode will share some little-known history of the ancient heroine and her namesake flower. Iris roots have been processed for everything from medicinal to olfactory applications, and their likeness has been employed by reigning empires. Whether thrown into the fire or tossed into a cask of spirits, irises and their extracts have been enhancing the senses for centuries.

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.