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Dictionary of Plant symbolism A

Updated on August 13, 2014

Dictionary of Plant Symbolism A

Symbols are universal representations of the important issues in man's live. In this article we describe symbols of the following plants:

Acacia

Acanthus

Agriculture

Almond

Anemone

Apple

Apricot

Artemisia

See at the end of this page for similar squidoo pages for other plant symbols.

Acacia
Acacia

Acacia

Acacia-wood was held in ancient times to be the “Wood of Life.” , it was sacred to the sun god of Egypt.

The plant bears white and pink blooms. It was considered sacred by the Egyptians where the white -red principle was of great mystic importance

It is a funerary symbol signifying resurrection and immortality.

In Hermetic doctrine, it symbolizes soul and immortality, according to the testament of Hiram which teaches that one must know how to die in order to live again in eternity.

The tree gains its importance from the description of the burial of Hiram Abiff, the builder of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

Symbolic of immortality and moral life. (Christian). Acacia is often represented in Christian art, especially the Romanesque.

In Freemasonry, the acacia represent purity and endurance of the soul.

acanthus
acanthus

Acanthus

The distinguishing feature of the Corinthian capital; given more varied treatment in Byzantine capitals [i: Constantinople, 6th cent., with Justinian's monogram]. The scroll forms - a continuous curving stem with branching spirals - is found on ceilings of Italian churches (Rome and Ravenna, 5th-13th cents.), where it symbolizes heaven.

The leaf of the Acanthus is a very common ornamental motif in architecture, its symbolism lays in its growth and its thorns.

The thorns symbolize solicitude about lowly things , they signify the awareness and the pain of sin (Bishop Melito of Sardis,died c. 180 C.E.).

In the Gospels in the parable of the sower (Luke viii, 7), we read that some of the seed (of spiritual principles and of salvation) fell amongst thorns and was choked. In the Old Testament (Genesis iii, 18) the Lord tells man that the earth will yield to him thorns and thistles.

The Tree of Jesse is often based on the acanthus.

Ceres as an allegorical representation of agriculture
Ceres as an allegorical representation of agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture is often symbolised by a goddess.

This allegorical figure often carries a cornucopia full of fruits and flowers, or has both hands leaning on a spade or a hoe.

Ceres is represented with a plough and a plant bearing its first blossom.

The Zodiac is often included to indicate the importance of the yearly cycle and the sequence of the seasons and the work that each season implies.

almond
almond

Almond and the almond tree

A symbol of sweetness and delicacy.

The almond tree is one of the first trees to blossom, so it became the symbol of spring.

It is a Christian symbol of divine favour, from the flowering of Aaron's rod.

The rod of Joseph, husband of the Virgin, also flowered as a mark of divine favour, whence the almond became a symbol of the Virgin's purity.

In China the almond symbolizes feminine beauty and fortitude in grief.

anemone
anemone

Anemone

In Greek mythology the anemone is the symbol of death and sorrow. The anemone sprouted from the spilled blood of Adonis.

We find the same symbolism in medieval tradition. Anemones sprouted from the blood of Christ on Calvary. In medieval painting we find anemones appear in paintings of the Crucifixion and of the Virgin of Sorrows.

apple
apple

Apple

Its (almost) spherical shape symbolises totality. earthly desires and indulgence in such desires.

The best known story is the warning not to eat the forbidden apple (from Eve to Snow-white). In fact it is a warning against the exaltation of materialistic desire (15).

In Christian art, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, plucked by Eve is a symbol of the Fall;

An apple held by the infant Christ alludes to the doctrine of Redemption

In Greek myth the apple of discord was thrown into the banquet of the gods and later awarded by Paris to Aphrodite (Venus) whose attribute it is; also of her attendants the three graces.

The golden apples of the Hesperides symbolize immortality, and are an attribute of Hercules.

In China wild apple blossom denotes female beauty.

apricot fairy
apricot fairy

Apricot

In Chinese decoration art an apricot means beauty, beautyful woman, spring and good fortune

Artemisia

In Chinese ceramic decoration a leaf of artemisia is one of the eight treasures and is a symbol of joy.

Any comment is welcome !

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    • Sorcerers Stone profile image

      Sorcerers Stone 3 years ago

      I did not know that about the acanthus! Very informative, thank you.

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 4 years ago

      Very nice and informative lens. I like how you've done many lenses on the same topic with different words.

    • LaurenIM profile image

      LaurenIM 4 years ago

      Interesting stuff on this lens. Pretty much I wasn't aware of any of it. I suspected but wasn't clear until I read your lens. Thanks.

    • Cassidy Wadsworth profile image

      Cassidy Wadsworth 5 years ago

      I'm really into symbolism of all kinds, and I'm excited to find your lenses about plant symbolism! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Interesting, I hadn't realized all the layers of meaning we've ascribed to plants.

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      If you cut an apple in half the other way, the seeds make a pentacle. The apple is considered very magical to pagans and the seeds are called the Star of Knowledge. (must be why Eve wanted to eat it.)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Another remarkable subject for a lens. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      I like this unusual lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      thank you for this informative lens. whenever i eat an apple, i will ponder upon it and remember your words.

    • WoodlandBard profile image

      WoodlandBard 5 years ago

      and here's another stunning portal from you about the hidden wisdom of plants, many thanks.

    • profile image

      inspirationz 5 years ago

      very interesting indeed! symbolism is fascinating! knowing what different symbols mean certainly makes visiting art galleries far more meaningful.

    • fireblazzer profile image

      fireblazzer 5 years ago

      interesting page

    • anticloud profile image

      anticloud 6 years ago

      I have an acacia wood kitchen table. It is my favorite piece of furniture that I own. :)

    • profile image

      seoacrossworld 6 years ago

      I spent hours to read the lenses about Plant Symbolism but didn't get that much..I would love to read about rose... waiting for some more lens about some more plants... :)

    • RealMonstrosity profile image

      RealMonstrosity 6 years ago

      Really great idea, well done!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I love this lens. Angel Blessed

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Well done indeed! I have a blog about symbols in fairy tales (it is in Slovene, sorry) and apple is one of my 'in the near future' subjects.This lens will be certainly of great help!

    • Psycho-Gamer profile image

      MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

      like the other have said....is a great idea for a lens...well done...i hope i will seee some more content in the future

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens series. Good way to have people coming back, one alphabet at a time. Very well done. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a very cool and fun idea for a lens series, love it!!!