The Meaning of Flowers
Example of a 'Perfect Flower' (Crateva religiosa)
Blooming Lovely Flowers
A flower is described as “the seed-bearing part of a plant, consisting of reproductive organs (stamens and carpels) that are typically surrounded by brightly coloured corolla (petals) and a green calyx (sepals)." The above description defines a flower in the physical sense, but it does not come close to the real meaning of flowers.
Our love affair with flowers goes back a long way. In a prehistoric site in Israel, archaeologist found evidence of sage, mint and various plants in graves around 14,000 years old.
The ancient Romans often laid out their tomb to emulate a garden so that the spirits may wander and enjoy the scenery. Our love affair with flowers is apparent in the way they are represented in our everyday lives and various cultures. Some of the most popular girl's names are associated with flowers. Lily, Rose, Poppy, Ivy, Iris, Daisy, Hyacinth, Tulip, the list goes on.
We use Petal as a term of endearment. We give tokens of flowers to those we love; we give them to say, congratulations, well done. We offer flowers to say happy birthday, happy anniversary, to say thank you, and to express our love for each other.
Every bride must carry the perfect bouquet of flowers on her wedding day. When the time comes to leave this life, we bid goodbye to our friends and loved ones by saying it with flowers. We remember our dead by placing flowers on their graves.
The analogy of a flower is apt to describe the things we love the best. We display floral arrangements in our homes; they cheer us up when we're feeling down, but they can represent both joy and sadness.
Flowers are a feast for the eyes and food for the soul. They are nature's gems, from the humble buttercup, the ingenious dandelion to the magnificent orchid. For me, it's near impossible to choose a favourite flower; each one holds a special place in the heart. Some are special purely for their rarity, others, for their association with memories, good or bad.
We love nature's blooms for their various colours and fragrance. In the case of spring flowers like daffodils, bluebells, and snowdrops, they are loved not only for their beauty but also for what they represent. Springtime wouldn't be half as special without a host of golden daffs signalling the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Flowers mark the reawakening of dormant nature and the hope of summer sun.
The £3 million David Austin rose, debut at Chelsea Flower Show 2006.
Lisianthus also known as Eustoma
New Hydrangea Revolution
List of some of the world's most Fascinating and some of the most expensive blooms.
The Juliet rose, also known as the "£3 million rose" made its debut at the Chelsea Flower show in 2006. The elegantly beautiful flower with its light fragrance was named the £3 million rose due to the enormous amount of money it took to produce the flower over 15 years of intensive breeding by famous breeder David Austin.
- Lisianthus ($10 -$35 per bundle)
Lily of the Valley ($15 - $50 per bundle) one bunch or 10 stems online can cost as much as $89.99
- Kadupul Flower (Priceless) This shy ephemeral bloom is priceless, the lack of a price tag is mainly because it cannot be picked without sustaining damage. The Kadupul is a type of cactus which only bloom at night and emits a beautiful and calming fragrance. Sadly; the flower dies within hours of being picked.
- Hydrangea, often used in wedding bouquets can be quite expensive when sold by the stem
- Shenzhen Nongke ( $202,000 per plant)
- Rothschild's Orchid Paphiopedilum Rothschildyanum ($5,000 per plant)
- Gloriosa, or fire lilies
Saffron Crocus, Crocus sativus ($1,200 – $1,500 per pound)
Gold of Kinabalu Orchid ($6000 per piece)
- 17th Century Tulip Bulb Semper Augustus (10,000 guilders or ($ 5,700 during the 17thcentury)
- Venus Flytrap
- Orchid, now a major worldwide market where buyers bid large amounts of money on new hybrids and various improved varieties. Orchids are hugely popular, currently one of the most sought after flowering plants on the market.
- Flame Lily
- Bird of paradise
- Bleeding Heart Flower
- Passion Flowers
- Torch Ginger
- Sea Poison Tree
List of flowers and their meanings, origins, myths and legends
Meaning and Symbolism
Myths and Legend
A symbol of life and birth, used by the Mayans to celebrate the birth of a child. Also known to symbolize cohesion friendship and love in Hawaiian culture, often given to visitors as a welcoming gesture on arrival to the ialand
Generally believed to be native to South & Central America, also said to be native to the Caribbean, taken to America by Spanish priests.
During WWll, sailors shipping overseas from Hawaii would toss a plumeria (frangipani) lei into the water as the ship passed Diamond Head. If the lei floated ashore, the sailor will return, if the flower floated toward the ship, the sailor would not return. In Mexican myth, the gods were born from frangipani flowers. In Malay folklore the scent of the frangipani is associated with vampire, the pontianak. In Vietnames myth, ghosts lives in trees with white frangipani flowers.
The word "rose" is Latin for Rosa. Meaning of rose dates back to ancient civilizaion,
The origin of the rose is believed to be Crete, Greece where it grew wild in the hill side, many years before the birth of Christ. The Egyptian and the Chinese cultivated and grew roses over 5000 years ago. Roses are emblems of England and New York City.
Petrified roses were found in ancient Egyptian graves. Rose fossils has been found in Europe, dated before humans. Religious documents referred to roses as a symbol of the blood of the martyr. To the Romans, the rose is a symbol of love, secrecy and beauty. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite created the rose when shedding her tears, also the blood of her lover Adonis
Pride, timidity and splendid beauty, determination,
From the Greek Amarysso meaning to sparkle
Sprang from the blood of a shy timid love sick nymph, Amaryllis
The name chrysanthemum, is derived from the Greek Chrysanthos, meaning "golden flower." Symbolism associated with this flower are, Abundance, Wealth, Cheerfulness, Loyalty, innocent, Optimism, Truth, Hope, Rest, Friendship and Love
In Italy Chrysanthemums are Symbolic of death
Japanese emperors sat on the chrysanthemum throne. A single Chrysanthemum petal is placed on the bottom of a wine glass for a long and healthy life in Japan
Symbolism associated with Love, Beauty, Refinement, Many children, Thoughtfulness and Mature charm
Name derived from the Greek word "orkhis" meaning testicle, due to the shape of the plant's tuberous root
In Greek Mythology, Orchis the son of a nymph and a satyr, he attempted to rape a priestess and was torn apart by wild beasts, later metamorphosed into the the amazing flower.
Symbolism associated with beauty, enlightenment, emotions. In ancient Egypt water lily depicted unity of the people in the country. In Bangladesh, the lotus flower (water lily) is a national flower, used in every religious ceremony. In Western culture, the water lily symbolise eloquence, gracefulness and estranged love.
May have been discovered in the 17th century by a botanist travelling in the jungle of South America
Represents wealth and honor, romance and love
Native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America
Named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius jealous of his pupil whose ability soon surpassed that of his master, the student was saved by Zeus, who turned him into the peony flower. The peony was crowned the king of flowers, the tree peony was anointed national flower of China over 2000 yers ago.
Throughout history, cyclamen has represented true and sincere feelings. Also associated with resignation and goodbye. Cyclamen comes from the Greek word for circle.
Originated from the Middle East. Cyclamen persicum grows naturally in countries like Palestine, Syria. Israel, Greece, Turkey and some Mediterranean islands.
The bulb-like underground stem of the cyclamen europaeum plant was said to have medicinal properties. The Roman physician and botanist, Dioscorides, mentioned its use as an aphrodisiac. English farmers are known to refer to cyclamen as "stag-truffle" or "sowbread" after observing pigs and deer digging and eating the roots.
Bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scripta)
Symbol of the Botanical Society of the British Isles.
Frequent in ancient woodland. Native to western parts of Atlantic Europe, from north-western Spain, Portugal to the Netherlands and the british Isles. Blue bells are widely distributed, but it is found with greater density in the British Isles where the species is protected.
According to Celtic legend, the bluebell was known as a fairy flower, which was dangerous and associated with Celtic heroes, Merlin and King Arthur, who remain asleep in a cave, to one day awake when Britain needs them.
The Snowdrop flower is the symbol of hope.
Snowdrop the harbinger of spring is native to a large area of Europe.
Legend has it, when Adam and Eve were thrown from the garden of Eden, Eve was about to lose all hope that the winter would end. An angel appeared, transformed some snow into snowdrop flowers, as proof that winter will eventually give way to spring. Thus hope
Native mainly to Mexico but also Central America and Colombia
Before the discovery of insulin, diabetics were given a substance known as Atlantic starch made from dahlia tubers. The first dahlias from Mexico were planted in the Empress Josephine's garden at Malmaison. During this time, a good dahlia could be traded for a diamond.
David Austin's Just Joey Rose
The Meaning of Rose
We use flowers in some of our best-loved poems and songs. Flowers are fascinating, beautiful and inspirational. People are prepared to pay an exorbitant amount of money to possess rare species. However; while flowers can evoke a smile from the hardest of hearts, some blooms that can fire the imagination like no other.
The rose is one of the oldest flowering plants, in existence, and although it is native to the northern hemisphere, it is now cultivated by growers worldwide. The Ancient Greeks printed an image of an open flower believes to be a rose on coins dating back to 500 B.C.
The rose was a symbol of wealth and luxury by the time of the Romans. Roses have evolved from their wild origins through mutation and adaptation over centuries, and more recently, through the ingenuity of rose breeders such as David Austin. A technique of hybridisation is used to produce even more spectacular flowers to meet our modern gardening needs. Some of these blooms can be outrageously expensive to produce. Nevertheless, they are still much sought after.
There are many types of roses such as Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Climbing Roses, Ground cover roses, Shrub roses and English roses. Roses come in a myriad of colours, each with its own special meaning. The rose has its own international society known as the World Federation of Rose Society and its own hall of fame.
Purple is one of the new colours added to the ever-increasing numbers of colourful offerings from breeders of roses. Purple rose means; Unveiling the facts, enthrallment at first sight. Purple rose is given to someone who simply blows you away at first glance, capture your heart and enthrals you.
Flowers in bloom,'Tuscany Superb' rose cultivar was discovered in 1837.
Roses Come In A Myriad of Colours, Each With Its Own Meaning
Colour Of Rose
Passion, Love, Romance, Beauty, Courage, Respect, Sincerity, Congratulations.
Joy, Friendship, New beginnings, Platonic love
Desire and Enthusiasm
Appreciation, Sincerity, Gratitude, Modesty
The unattainable and the impossible
White Rose Bud
The Symbol of girlhood
Death and Farewell
The Red Rose Universal Symbol for True Love
Frangipani (plumeria) Tropical flower
White Tulip (Tulipa)
Calla Lily, not a true lily, but more beautiful than a goddess
Lilies are dedicated to the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus. According to Greek legend, Zeus fathered Hercules with a mortal woman named Alceme. But the god also wanted his son to maintain a measure of divinity. To this end, Zeus drugged Hera and had the baby Hercules placed at her breast to suckle her milk, but while the baby nursed, Hera awoke. In her surprise, she flung the infant from her, thereby spilling her milk across the heavens to form the milky way, a few drops of Hera's milk fell to earth, and from those drops, sprang the very first lilies.
In Roman legend, when Venus rose from the sea-foam, she saw a lily, the beauty and whiteness of the flower, filled her with jealousy and envy. In anger; Venus saw the lily as a rival to her beauty and caused a large pistil to spring from the centre of the lily. The Lily has since been associated with Venus and the Satyrs, the personification of lustful ardour.
Lilium or true Lilies are herbaceous flowering plants with large prominent flowers that are grown from bulbs. The name" lily" is commonly used for many different species of plants, but true lilies are of the genus Lilium and include:
Lilium candidum known as the Madonna lily produces an abundance of pure white trumpet-shaped flowers with a delightful fragrance in June.
Asiatic lilies are popular with landscape gardeners; they are early bloomers that produce flowers in late May or early June, available in most colours, except blue.
Water Lily, known as one of the world's prettiest flowers
The Lotus Flower (water lily) Symbolises detachment in some Asian countries
The Lily, also popular in Ancient Christian Religion
Day lily also known as the perfect perennial
Triple flower Day lily
Spring Bluebells, Britain's Favourite wild flower
Dahlia Woodland Merinda
Helebores; a must for the winter garden
Cyclamen, some species will bloom in winter
© 2014 Jo Alexis-Hagues