Why Is It Called That?

“Why Is It Called That?”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Dolor means sorrow, misery, anguish.  So why would that word be associated with a beautiful flower?  Last fall, I ordered several Louisiana irises, and the first one to bloom is called Marie Dolores.  It was described as a vigorous grower and that wasn’t an overstatement.  Of the four I planted in October, this one is the largest and the only one to have a flower so far.  I am hoping to see the others sporting the beginnings of flowers stalks soon.




As to the name, the only thing I can come up with is Mater Dolorosa or Sorrowful Mother, one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Maybe this iris was named Marie Dolors in remembrance of Christ’s mother instead of its being a “miserable” flower because such a beautiful blossom as this one has nothing sorrowful about it.



  1. April 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    That is a beautiful blossom, very white and Easter-y.

  2. Melanthia said,

    April 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I love the fringed edges. It really is a lovely bloom. It makes me want to add to my plain purple irises.

  3. Phillip said,

    April 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Very beautiful!

  4. April 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’m always a fan of flowers with strange shapes and textures and definitely Irises fall into that category. One more flower added to my list of definitely-want-it’s. It definitely suggests nothing about sorrow! Definitely not! Strange though that people named it that…

  5. Racquel said,

    April 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    It’s a gorgeous bloom and I love the frilly center.

  6. Tyra said,

    April 3, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Enchanting and I think a beautiful name as well.
    Perhaps it is because it’s painfully (dolor)beautiful.

    Have a great weekend Jan/ Tyra

  7. Becky said,

    April 3, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Perhaps an iris breeder named this flower after his lovely daughter Marie and his beautiful wife Dolores. Not so deep a meaning, but nice for such a gorgeous bloom!

  8. Randy said,

    April 3, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Well, that would make perfect sense and it is blooming very close to Easter. I think you have the name figured out. It’s a beautiful flower.

  9. Jean said,

    April 3, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Very beautiful bloom! I don’t associate the name Marie Dolores with sorrow. I do associate it with my friends in south Texas though. I think it’s a pretty name if one doesn’t translate it to English. Interesting ideas about it though.

  10. gartengrl said,

    April 3, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, that is a truly beautiful bloom. I love the way white makes such a dramatic statement in the garden.

  11. donna said,

    April 3, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Interesting that so close to Easter you have a rose blooming that resembles an Easter Lily. Love it!

  12. Jan said,

    April 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Carol, you know, I never thought of it as being Easter-y until your comment. You are right; it is perfect for Easter.

    Melanthia, I am starting to add more irises, and while I love the purple, there is no reason to stop with just that color.

    Phillip, I am very pleased with this new iris. I can’t wait for it to spread.

    Chandramouli, I, too, like the unusual when it comes to flowers. One thing I like about this flower is its size; it is huge.

    Racquel, that center certainly does enhance the flower.

    Tyra, good idea about the name.

    Becky, you could be right; who knows why breeders name flowers the way they do.

    Randy, I didn’t think of the name and it blooming so close to Easter as a reason, but you just may be right.

    Jean, it could be as simple as being named after a person with that name. I guess I just always associated dolor with sorrow.

    Gartengrl, white flowers are my favorite, and this is a lovely addition.

    Donna, don’t you mean iris, not rose? I am glad that it is blooming in time for Easter this year. I just may have to post another picture on Easter Sunday.

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