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Flowers and Their Meaning: The Poppy


"Meaning and History of the Poppy"

Poppy – Meaning: “Wealth and Success”

Botanical Name: Bocconia    Family: Papaveraceae

We are slumberous Poppies,
Lords of Lethe downs,
Some awake and some asleep,
Sleeping in our crowns.
What perchance our dreams may know,
Let our serious beauty show.

There are many kinds of poppy, including California poppies, Iceland poppies, and perennial poppies. Red poppies symbolize fantastic extravagance. On the other hand, yellow poppies stand for wealth and success. White ones can convey forgetfulness and sleep.  Poppy is among the most loved flowers. These plants generally bloom during the spring and early summer.

The field poppy was grown by the ancient Egyptians.

The poppy plant was sacred to Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain. She was often depicted wearing wearing a wreath made of the blooms and carrying corn, which she would offer as a sacrifice to the Gods.  The poppy has been called many names such as Thunder flower. The myth is that when children would pick the flower, the petals would fall and they would then be struck by Thunder.  One of the old country names was Cheesebowl because there is a little round bowl in the bottom of the flower’s head, filled with seeds set in something that resembles cheese. The poppy has also been associated with fertility, and represented the blood of dead warriors. Because of the its strong smell, it has even been called the headache flower.

When you need flowers, remember Eden Florist & Gift Baskets
Note: the header image for this blog is a field of poppies

History and Meaning of Iris


"History and Meaning of Iris"With a history that dates back to the times of Greek Gods and Goddesses, means “rainbow,” Named for the Goddess of love,  The sacred Iris was considered the symbol of communication and messages.

The Iris is from the Iridaceae Family

Symbolism and Language of Flowers: Faith, Wisdom, Hope, Valor,  admiration and Eloquence

France and Florence (Italy) both chose the Iris as their emblem. The Iris is the basis for the fleur-de-lis, one of the most well-known symbols in the world and the symbol of the French Royal Family. Tennessee has also adopted the Iris as the official state flower.

Iris is a garden flower, grown from a bulb with long, flat leaves. With over 200 varieties, Iris come white, yellow,  shades of blues and purples, pink and orange, brown and red, and even black.

Some varieties of iris grow in deserts, some in swamps, some in colder climates and many others in temperate climates.

The Iris was also considered a favorite flower of the Muslems who took it to Spain after their conquest in the 8th century.

Irises are grown from bulbs or rhizomes and have long, flat leaves. Irises are used extensively in gardens, especially the bearded varieties. Irises are  hardy herbaceous perennials that are easy to cultivate. Irises can be found growing in North America, Asia, Northern Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Iris Facts and Trivia:

Iris roots are used to treat skin diseases. The juice of Irises are also sometimes used as a cosmetic treatment for the removal of freckles.

The Iris is known as Tze Hu-tieh or “The Purple Butterfly” because it reminds the Chinese people of butterfly wings, flapping gently in the breeze.

Purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead on their journey.

Ancient Egyptian kings were enthralled by the iris’s exotic nature. Evidence can be found in the drawings of the flower in a number of Egyptian palaces and historic structures.

During the Middle Ages the Fleur-de-lis was adopted as the recognized national symbol of France.

The Iris has been used to make perfume and as a medicinal remedy.

 

Iris, Most Beautiful Flower

Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You bloom with the first in Winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist’s desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love you and crown you,
MOST BEAUTIFUL FLOWER ON EARTH!

Edith Buckner Edwards

 

Meaning and History of Calendula


Calendula ~ Admiration, Good Luck

 "Meaning and History of Calendula"(wor calendae,  pot marigold) ~ Means “Winning Grace”  and “throughout the months.”

The name Calendula stems from the Latin kalendae, meaning first day of the month, presumably because pot marigolds are in bloom at the start of most months of the year.” ( wikipedia.com )  Historically Known for its medicinal and culinary value, the calendula was called  “Mary’s Gold” by Early Christians.  The would place calendula by the statues of the Virgin Mary to honor her.  The most sacred of flowers of ancient India, calendula were strung into garlands to adorn holy statues.


A member of the marigold family, calendula is traditionally known as an herb as well as valued for its medicinal and culinary uses. In ancient times, calendula blossoms were mixed in wine to relieve indigestion. Calendula petals were used in ointments to heal skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes, and toothaches.  It is used to stimulate blood circulation and lower fevers (by causing sweating). It can also be used to treat diaper rash, as it promotes rapid healing. Calendula oil can be used to treat earaches, is a natural antiseptic and even helps heal hemmoroids.

The Romans used calendula mixed with vinegar to season their meat and salad dishes.


A Mediterranean annual plant (Calendula officinalis) in the composite family, widely cultivated for its showy, yellow or orange, rayed flower heads that were formerly used in medicine, coloring, and flavoring of food.

 

Calendula is also October’s Birth flower and the International Herb Association declared calendula flower of the year for 2008. Calendula has great anti-inflammatory properties and vulnerary properties. Its uses are varied — from soothing minor skin disorders like pimples and dry chapped lips to curing chicken pox etc.


Check out Aromatherapy at Home ezine for a recipe to make Calendula Oil

The Meaning of Flowers: Alstromeria


"The Meaning and History of the Alsromeria Peruvian Liliy"Meaning: Wealth, prosperity, fortune

Named after Swedish naturalist, Baron Clas Alstroemer (1736-1794)

Native to South America,  Alstroemeria is commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas,  a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae.

Alstroemerias come in a wide range of colours, including white, pink, yellow, salmon, red, lavender, orange, bronze and bicolours and are available year-round.

Alstroemerias are versatile flowers in terms of both colour and form. Perfect for most any style arrangement including contemporary designs, clusters and vase arrangement.

The Meaning and History of Peonies


 

"Peonies and their meaning"

 

PeonyGood Life, Happy Marriage, Bashfulness
Botanical Name: Peonia                         Family: Paeoniaceae


”Bashfulness so oft applies thus peonies are for the sky.”

Named after Paeon, Physician to the Gods, the first modern peony was grown widely in medieval England, especially in monastery gardens, although ancient peonies were said to come from China. Legend tells that mischievous nymphs hid in the petals of the peony causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning of bashfulness. In eighth century China, the red peony was considered the King of Flowers, symbolizing abundance. It is said he first obtained the plant on Mount Olympus from the Mother of Apollo.

Peonies can live for a hundred + years if undisturbed.

February’s flower is the Violet


Every flower has a history and symbolic meaning.  

 

Meaning: Modesty, faithfulness, virtue

February’s birth flower is the Violet.  It is also known as the African Violet. The flower is a five-petal velvety blossom that comes in shades of pinks, whites and purples. They are available as a houseplant or garden plant all year round.

Baron Walter Von Saint Paul Illaire is credited with discovering the violet plant in Tanzania in 1892.

Violet Facts, Trivia and Folklore:

 

The Greek word for violet is io. Io is a character in Greek mythology and the daughter of King Argos. Zeus loved her. However, Zeus was concerned that Hera (his wife) would discover their affair, so he turned Io into a heifer and then created the sweet-scented flowers that we now know as violets for her to graze upon.

 

 

Violets also have a unique method of reproduction, known as cleistogamy, which means to self-pollinate.    

 

During the Middle Ages, violets were a symbol for humility and modesty not only because of the blooming habits of the flower but also because of their association with the Virgin Mary. 
The god Hades fell in love with the maiden Persephone. One day while Persephone was walking through a field of violets, Hades carried her away to his land of death. The world mourned her death and became barren until Hades relented and agreed that Persephone could walk on the earth from spring through fall. Thus leading to violets symbolizing immortality, resurrection and spring. 

 

 

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia, upon learning of the death of her father, Polonius, speaks to the queen in the language of the flowers, quite common in the 16th century.  Her allusions are to the tragic event which has taken place and the emotions and attributes symbolized by certain flowers: rosemary for remembrance; pansies for love; fennel for flattery; columbine for ingratitude; rue for repentance; daisies for faithlessness; and violets for constancy or devotion.  In act IV, scene 5, she sings distraughtly while in the company of the queen, “

 

I would give some violets, but they withered all when my father died: they say he made a good end .”

The Greek dramatist, Aristophanes, referred to Athens in one of his plays as the violet-crowned city for King Ion (Ion means Violet).

 

When French composer Frederick Chopin died, one of his music students Jane Sterling bought all the violets she could find in the flower shops of Paris to cover his grave. So beloved is Chopin that, even today visitors daily place flowers (frequently violets) on this grave in Paris.

 

Josephine Bonaparte loved the scent of violets and thus they became her favorite perfume.  Before Napoleon was exiled in Elba, Josephine died and he picked a bouquet of violets for her grave. When Napoleon died, violets and a lock of Josephine’s hair were found in a locket that he wore.