Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yellow Freesias

Freesia [Iridaceae family]

Freesia [Iridaceae family]

No, these aren't grown in the UK.

I saw many references to yellow freesias while reading John le Carré's book The Constant Gardener and wondered what they looked like. They're found in Africa (the setting for le Carré's book) and belong to the Iridaceae family (along with iris, crocus, and gladiolus). I wish they did grow here.

In le Carré's novel, these are the favorite flowers of the dead heroine; they're thrown onto her casket when she's buried; their name makes up the password to important files left on her computer. Clues to her murder.

It's not a happy story. Not a happy ending. But the flowers are beautiful and innocent.