The Florentine iris is an attractive perennial plant with bluish-green, narrow, flat, sword-like leaves 1-1 in. (3-4 cm) wide. The flower stems reach to 3 ft. (1 m) and higher and bear either white flowers tinged with violet and a yellow beard, or pure white flowers with no beard. Orris root powder is pale cream to white in color, is very fine-textured like talcum powder, and has an aroma distinctly similar to that of violets. The flavor is also floral and has a distinct bitter taste. The orris root powder, for culinary use (and the most fragrant variety) comes from the rhizome of Florentine iris, one of a vast family of plants grown primarily for their magnificent blooms that are so popular for decorating garden beds in spring and early summer.
Orris Root - The EpicentreThe Epicentre, http://theepicentre.com/spice/orris_root/ (accessed January 24, 2017).