Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Orris root is a fixative used in potpourri to enhance color and fragrance potpourri which may be purchased in small quantities at most pharmacies. It can be poisonous and should be handled with care. Some people develop allergies to the root, which is also used for medicinal purposes.

Orris root is the dried and ground root of a Dalmatian iris (pallida iris? ). Bearded iris will not produce the desired result.

It has a scent similar to violets; whilst popular in the 1800's, it is now used to scent and preserve pomander balls,  spice wreaths, or sachets. Pomander balls are citrus fruits or small apples into which cloves are inserted in even rows. Roll the pomander in a mixture of orris root and cinnamon.

Although some sources list the Iris x germanica (Common German Flag) as a source of orris, this information is dubious.


See also:
Horseradish - Galangal - Cilantro - Orris Root - Radicchio - Angelica  - Garlic Chives  - Sweet Basil - Ginger

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