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The Meaning of the English Daisy

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

The Daisy

the daisy in the vase

sits by the window

with its feet dipped in water

its drooping head

drinking in sunshine


By Lea Rose

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photo credit: via gardenguides.com

The English Daisy is one of the most popular and traditional flowers of all time and to this day, remains to be a favorite for many.  Wildly grown and used as a natural romantic predictor for whether “he loves me, he loves me not,” (derived from French origin - effeuiller la marguerite) this bloom has made a considerable symbolic impact within a variety of cultures.  


The physical attributes of the flower are known for its’ daintiness and sweet appeal.  Each head of yellow is surrounded by white petals and tipped with pink at the very edges.  Being the “sister” to the white daisy, the English variety also grows in clumps, giving off several different shoots during its blooming stage.  The petals are dark colored in green and have a soft, plush texture when rubbed between your fingers.  Typically, the English Daisy blooms right before Easter, telling all that spring is close to arrive but if the weather is temperate during the fall, you might see a re-shoot of the plant before the coldness of winter sets in.


Since this flower is thought to be an older species, it’s meaning can be traced back to times during the Renaissance and probably even beforehand.  Artists sought out the flower for many paintings, particularly those with a theme of innocence and purity.  As stated before, one of the greatest purposes of the English Daisy was an efficient tool to foretell the future.  Children often played games such as “Rich man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Layer, Banker, Chief” to see what occupation they would someday have by taking one petal off for each different title.  When there was one left, a girl would know what her future husband would have as a career.  Another use would be for a young female to close her eyes and rip out of clump of flowers from the base of the roots.  If she pulled out five buds, then it would be five years until she wed.  


Other depictions of the English Daisy can be connected to calmness where it is believed if you hang pictures of the flower in your home, you will attract a sense of peace and calmness for all those who live there.  “Rebirth” is another common meaning where the stems are layered on top of recently deceased gravesites as a well wish for the life after.  “Gentleness is another huge theme behind the flower and is shown by making wreaths placed atop heads as a token symbol.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Daisies

The Symbolic Meaning of the Hyacinth

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 09, 2017

"Innocent Hyacinth Tinted with Mint"

Innocent Hyacinth tinted with mint

Tingèd grey hinged on stem singed

With chestnut leaves flowing, to me a fair hint


Of off-centered carousing, black eyes perusing

Wares of all sorts and stocks of all shares

The leading on of a pleasure most gracefully enthusing…


By Guy Braddock

Mar 24, 2014


The hyacinth is probably the most famous blossom associated with the end of winter in New England and the beginning of a new spring season.  Although it is customarily tied to native Boston gardening, the hyacinth actually originated in western Asia and was eventually brought to Europe where their popularity expanded across the continents.  The bulbs are typically planted in the fall and are the first to arrive as soon as the temperatures begin to raise up into the low forty to fifty degree weather patterns.  They are quite popular in flower shops and nurseries because they are available in a wide array of colors including purple, pink, peach, white and even salmon.  The hyacinth is world renowned by the largest importers of the world and has maintained one of the top five spots for most exported flower for gifts within holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.  One of the reasons is due to their incredible scent that usually registers as a sweet infused aroma.  Its ability to outlast many of its other floral companions is another reason it keeps itself in high demand.  Many believe its sturdy shape and compacted bell-like heads acquires the asset of longevity for the plant.   The petals climb up a durable stem and form a tree-like formation with several flowers blossoming one on top of the other.  

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Symbolically, the hyacinth is dated back to the Greeks, where both the gods, Apollo and Zephyrus pined after the goddess, “Hyacinth”.  When Zephyrus became jealous of his fierce competition from the handsome boy, he changed the course of the wind, causing a discus to hit Apollo and kill him.  Broken hearted, the goddess decided that flowering hyacinth would forever bloom wherever her lover’s blood had shed as a sign for remembrance.  This is why themes such as sorrow were originally tied to the bloom although constancy and discretion are also mentioned in reference to hyacinth.  


Through the years and cultivation of the species, the eclectic assortments of colors that are now grown have brought about a new way of categorizing the hyacinth’s meaning.  Refer to the chart below to see a chart of each color and what it means.


            Pink-Bashfulness/Happiness        Yellow- Jealousy          Purple-Sadness

            Blue- Sincerity     White-Purity

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Hyacinth, Flower Meanings

What Is the Meaning of the Chrysanthemum Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Nov 01, 2016

The Symbolic Meaning of Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum,

Rose,

Buttercup.

Each morning he would guess a floret that might match

Her loveliness.

And every night,

When he pulled her close under…

By Pearl

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photo credit via Flower Factor

The Chrysanthemum has a long history of importance within several different regions and cultures of the world.  Today, the flower meaning “gold” is seen in most flower shops and is used consistently within arrangements, particularly funeral pieces.  Although they can mean love, loyalty, friendship, luck and a whole slew of other connotations, mums historically have been tied to death and mourning.  In practical terms, the bloom’s impressive overall physical properties of longevity, wide spectrum of color, and year round availability is responsible for their high demand in global markets.  The chrysanthemum’s sturdy stem and large head also make them a pleasure to design with as well although the symbolic significance behind the flower is its real reasoning for being the number one flower bought for this occasion.

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According to belief in Japan, the flower signifies peace and strength of the soul to those survived by their loved ones.  Mums are continually seen throughout many festivals and are utilized in celebrations extending from religious rituals as well as weddings.  The flower became such an asset to this culture that Japanese horticulturalists were the first in the world to cultivate shades outside of its wildlife hue of natural yellow.  Thanks to their expertise in knowledge of the chrysanthemum, varieties now exist that include tones of red, white, green, gold and violet.


As travel options increased and the floral industry widened, Japan was able to share and expose their native blooms to other countries.  Slowly, mums began to pop up everywhere making a huge splash across Europe, particularly France.  In the late nineteenth century, the French became obsessed with the new species and began farming the chrysanthemum in abundance along their countryside.  Due to its fuss-free nature, the flower became increasingly popular where they even attached its significance to the holiday, “All Saints Day”, ironically occurring during the time when the flower blooms.


Japan and France aren’t the only countries that adore this stunning species either.   Australia uses the mum as the preferred choice for gifting mom with flowers on Mother’s Day and China recognizes them as one of the “Four Gentlemen” which ties into the importance of cultural artwork.  In the United States, not only does New Orleans use it as the symbol for “All Saint’s Day” but the U.S. has officially deemed the chrysanthemum as the primary flower for the month of November.   

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Fall, Flower Meanings, Chrysanthemum, Mums

The Meaning of the Anemone Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 21, 2016


Those Pretty Anemones


I love all kinds of anemones

Simply because they remind me

Greatly and wonderfully of my earliest days

Of my childhood ...

I used to see them during Springtime…


By Mohammad Skati


The Anemone is a strong symbol for the beginning of spring and is often one of the first blooms to emerge from the newly thawing earth in some climates of the USA.  Not to be confused with the “Sea Anemone” the flower is commonly found in wooded areas and thrives within damp soil conditions with a high acidic reading.  Their appearance varies from shades of deep red all the way to bright purple, although once the bloom began to be cultivated by professional growers inside greenhouses, their colors expanded to other areas of the spectrum.  Now you can find these beauties in shades ranging from blush peaches, creams and pink.  Although the stem is delicate and will break easily if not held with care, the Anemone (or otherwise known as “windflowers”) will last longer in bouquets and arrangements compared to other seasonal varieties.  

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photo credit: www.vanishingtattoo.com

The symbolic meaning of the flower is tied to Zephyrus (the God of the Winds) who fell in love with a woman while he was married to another.  His wife became so overcome with rage and jealousy that she cast a spell on the girl, turning her into the flowering Anemone so that her husband could no longer be with her.  Due to this tale, the flower is often reflective of “abandonment” or “longing” and sometimes has a “jilted lover”reference.  


Another notion that is tied to the flower is its ability to ward of disease and evil.  It is unsure where exactly this meaning is derived from although the motion of the petals to close during the night is one possible theory.  Some Eastern cultures tend to disagree with this position and believe that anemones are future signs of bad luck.  As a matter of fact, the bloom is commonly seen as part of casket sprays and sympathy baskets at funeral ceremonies and burials.  


Since the flower has a wide array of symbolic meaning across the globe, it is wise to give the anemone as a gift to patients in the hospital gesturing “get better soon” or as to newlyweds to reinforce the idea of “faithfulness” and “loyalty”.  If you are unsure of the appropriateness of the occasion, be sure to ask your local floristfor help to avoid any embarrassing mixed messages about the Anemone.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Anemone

The States and Their Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the state flower of Massachusetts is?  It’s actually the Mayflower.  Can you guess why?  Well first of all, there’s the obvious reason of the name being tied to our founding father, Christopher Columbus who sailed the ocean blue until he landed on Plymouth Rock.  The ship he rode over on was also called “The Mayflower” making it the perfect flora from the northeast to symbolize.  Also called climbing laurel or trailing arbutus, the pretty purple blossoms are clumped together in a delicate pattern holding a sweet fragrance that makes it a favorite among many New Englanders.  Mayflower prefers sandy sediment or rocky soil that is typical where evergreens grow so if you’re taking a walk in the woods, keep your eyes peeled!

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Like the meaning and sentiment the mayflower represents to the residents of Massachusetts, people across the U.S. pay homage to a particular flower that makes them unique from surrounding areas.  Each and every state has an assigned bloom that tells a special story reflective of a historical background, a topographical attribute or traditional rite.  Check out your state flower by following the grid below!



Alabama

Camellia

Alaska

Forget-me-not

Arizona

Saguaro Cactus blossom

Arkansas

Apple blossom

California

California Poppy

Colorado

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Connecticut

Mountain laurel

Delaware

Peach blossom

Florida

Orange blossom

Georgia

Cherokee Rose

Hawaii

Hawaiian hibiscus (ma‘o hau hele)

Idaho

Mock Orange

Illinois

Purple Violet

Indiana

Peony

Iowa

Wild Prairie Rose

Kansas

Sunflower

Kentucky

Goldenrod

Louisiana

Magnolia

Maine

White pine cone and tassel

Maryland

Black-eyed susan

Massachusetts

Mayflower

Michigan

Apple blossom

Minnesota

Pink and white lady's slipper

Mississippi

Magnolia

Missouri

Hawthorn

Montana

Bitterroot

Nebraska

Goldenrod

Nevada

Sagebrush

New Hampshire

Purple lilac

New Jersey

Violet

New Mexico

Yucca flower

New York

Rose

North Carolina

American Dogwood

North Dakota

Wild Prairie Rose

Ohio

Scarlet Carnation

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Rose

Oklahoma

(Floral Emblem)

Mistletoe

Oklahoma (Wildflower)

Indian Blanket

Oregon

Oregon grape

Pennsylvania

Mountain Laurel

Rhode Island

Violet

South Carolina

Yellow Jessamine

South Dakota

Pasque flower

Tennessee

Iris

Texas

Bluebonnet

Utah

Sego lily

Vermont

Red Clover

Virginia

American Dogwood

Washington

Coast Rhododendron

West Virginia

Rhododendron

Wisconsin

Wood Violet

Wyoming

Indian Paintbrush

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Florist Massachusetts, Flowers, Mayflower, United States

The Symbolic Meaning of Passion Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 14, 2016

Passion Flower


Choose who will the wiser part,

I have held her heart to heart;

And have felt her heart-strings stirred,

And her soul's still singing heard


For one golden-haloed hour

Of Love's life the passion-flower.


So the world may roll or rest,

I have tasted of its best;


And shall laugh while I have breath

At thy dart and thee, O Death!


By Victor Daley

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Photo credit Christie Brinkley via Instagram

I used to collect Passion Flower samples and hang them from the hooks all around my apartment because I was drawn to their bright purple and chartreuse colored blossoms and their delicate branches that wove tendrils throughout the plant.  The characteristics of its weird and wild head make all the more allure and quite a conversational piece as well.  Also referred to as “Passiflora Caerulea”, this flowering plant actually originates in North America, which is rare for warmer climate loving tropicals.  The deep hues and architectural attributes also make this beauty a highly desirable decorative feature for home décor designers as well as florists who specialize in cultivating orchids.  The affordability factor compared to other similar species is also an attractive element as is their year round accessibility for ordering from high end wholesalers.  


The symbolic relevance of the Passion Flower is almost entirely circumvented around religion, specifically Catholics and Christians.  Travelers settling in the United States from Spain first saw the plant as a sign of the Crucifixion.  Due to the flower's symmetric numerical values and interesting fringed petals and tendrils, onlookers believed that the design of the flower symbolized the ten apostles, crown of thorns and cross to which Jesus was nailed to.  It isn’t really clear whether a sighting of the Passion Flower was a good or a bad omen but the gravity of coming upon one during their travels usually led to a direct visit to church for prayer.  The passion flower also bears large orange and yellow fruits, which contains seeds colored blood red- yet another indication of the weighty religious significance.   


Other areas of the world such as India believe that the Passion Flower is a symbol of the Five Pandava Brothers, a family who were all married to the same woman named Draupadi.  Again, connected by the flower’s unusual appearance, the several sepals that surround the head are said to represent an army of a thousand men while the exquisite blue hue in the center is reflective of the Divine Krishna’s aura.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Exotic Flowers, Flower Meanings, Passion Flower, Christie Brinkley

The Symbolic Meaning of Heather

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 10, 2016

If you ever go to Scotland

on a summer day,

you'll fall in love with Heather

Heather's blooming along the

bay.


Raising their tiny heads to

address the day

you won't believe their beauty

They will take your breath away.


This is a magical time, Heather's

growing wild and free

looking at a field of flowers

Captivated, by their beauty.


By Heather Burns

 

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photo credit: David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, OR via Flower Factor

Heather is an old fashioned flower that has bell-like heads, which grow in shrubs along rocky hillsides and meadows.  Due to their preferred growing conditions, this species requires very little attention and will flourish in areas that are rural and untouched by human development.  The heather species was first found in parts of Asia as well as Europe, particularly within Scotland borders.  Originally, the plant was called “hather” which translates into “open land covered with flowers” but was eventually changed to “heather” after the term “heath”.  The petals are colored in white, pink or mauve, each holding a different meaning depending on the hue.  In general, heather stands for independence, solidarity, protection and sorrow although different cultures have adapted their own symbolism through traditions and folklore.


One story describes the flower as being traced back to the early battles that took place on Scottish soil.  White blooms of heather were worn by soldiers on their chests to mean “protection” against the enemy and given by maidens to wish them “good luck”.  It was important that the flowers were white because if they were gifted in darker shades, the opposite was true.  Pink or mauve varieties were seen as “blood-shed” and “death” of fallen soldiers and would sometimes be planted near the corpses after warring had ended.  It is popular belief that not only will white heather never grow near the deceased but it is also the home to nymphs and other magical creatures.  If you’re ever hunting for fairies, stay away from the darker shades because they symbolize the bearer of bad news.


While it is true that heather surrounds several different notions of dying and feeling of being by oneself, there are other stories that celebrate the heather’s importance with immortality.   Most famously is the story of a princess who fell in love with a soldier who she was promised to marry.  Though unfortunately he was killed before they could be wedded, the princess planted only white sprigs of the plant at his grave and swore that no unhappiness shall ever come to another person who beholds the shade of white heather.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Flower Meanings, Heather

The Symbolic Meaning of Rosemary

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Sep 27, 2016

Picking Rosemary


Blue flowered in the warm sun of winter

pungent fragrance wafts splendorous

smallish leaves, grow deeply green

with a sun-ward slant they lean

hum and sing with bees

reaching ever upward

wild, their fingers untamed…


By CA Guilfoyle

Rosemary.jpg

photo credit via everythingessential.com

Out of all the herbs grown in my summer garden, rosemary is my favorite.  It may not look like much to most people but this bushy plant with bristled foliage is an asset to perfumeries, decorators and chefs everywhere!  The plant’s fragrance is its claim to fame since the needles are used to infuse scents found in shampoos, lotions, soaps and several aromatic healing elixirs.  The Queen of Hungry once believed that a drop of a tonic saturated in rosemary had been responsible for curing the pain of gout in her left foot.  The majority of practicing herbalists also state that it can be helpful with ailments associated with backaches, memory loss and also especially stress.  


Cooking with rosemary is also a treat since you can completely change the taste of a dish just by giving it a little seasoning of the pungent leaves.  Foods that react particularly well are lamb and mutton, making the meat flavorful with a delicious earthy essence.  Another way rosemary is used in the kitchen is by actually implementing the stem as a shish kabob for pork, chicken or whatever else you plan to throw on the grill.  By piercing the food through the pointed tip of the stick, flesh naturally becomes saturated by the marinade, hence morphing the barbecue into something indescribably out of this world.  


Although you may not have noticed, rosemary does grow a small purple or white flower towards the end of wintertime and because of this, the herb has become associated with its own symbolic floral meaning.  Love, lust, memory and mourning can all be argued as strong themes attached to the plant and are generally dependent upon the country or religion being talked about.  Also referred to as “dew from the seas” (because it was first discovered growing along hillsides close to the ocean), one explanation can be traced back to England where the plant was a sign for remembering the Virgin Mary.  In other cultures, blanches are used to cover aisles in churches to wish a newlywed luck during their ceremony.  In Spain, rosemary is dropped along the cathedral’s floor during Holy Week and in other parts of Europe; they are planted near tombs to honor the dead.  In Asia, rosemary is used as a medium for contacting the dead, so I guess it all depends on where you are to decipher the proper meaning of the herb.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, herbs, Flower Meanings, Rosemary

The Meaning of the Tulip

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Sep 14, 2016

Two Tulips


You walked past

the speed of life hit me

Like two tulips touching

because the wind blew

in a certain direction

with a certain strength


By

Tark Wain

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Tulips are a favorite of many because they are grown in a variety of different colors and are easily attainable throughout the year.  These bulb flowers are one of the most popular items bought from nurseries and are usually the first bloom to rise during the early spring.  Lucky for tulip lovers, there are hundreds of thousands of different varieties so there’s a pretty good chance that you can find whatever shade, texture or size that appeals to you.


Most people don’t know that tulips have an extensive past and are not as modern as they may have previously believed.  The initial recordings of its existence began during the Ottoman Empire where troops named the bloom after society’s cultural wardrobe.  The original word used to describe the tulip was “tolipend” which directly translates into “turbans”.  Wild fields of tulips apparently grew in abundance during this time making it a common bloom for people to pick.  It wasn’t until much later when they were given as gifts to the Netherlands who made them into a major cash crop and exported them around the world.  Once the tulip hit Europe the era of “tulip-mania” began where the flower became a fashionable icon for countries such as England, Holland and particularly France.  Many famous painters chose to use the bloom as the focal point for their art and can be seen today hanging in prestigious locations including castles, museums and political hubs.  


The meaning of the tulip is vast and depends solely on the color of the head.  If the tulip is red, then its meaning can be associated with love, loyalty or death.  If it is white, then it could mean birth, virginity or loneliness.  When the color is yellow, then it can mean infatuation or just a happy and cheery representation.


If you are thinking of gifting this flower to a friend or loved one, please research the exact symbolic meaning before buying tulips since your intended gesture may be misread.  When in doubt, pink tulips are the best choice since they are beautiful in presentation and can be interpreted with joyous and beautiful thoughts.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Tulips, Flower Meanings

The Meaning of the Dog-rose

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 09, 2016

To the laden gloom of roses

Desire in the hands of the blind

Prefer, in passing, the dog-rose

Of which I am the loving thorn

That survives your feelings of love.


By Rene Char

dog-rose.jpg

phot credit: via wikipedia

The Dog-rose is a beautiful spring flower blooming petals in soft shades of pink that surround a center of bright yellow sepals.  The architecture is delicately unique as it bends its boughs downward to reflect a waterfall effect.  The species grows in a bush-like formation and is also commonly referred to as “Sweetbriars” and “Witches Briar”.  As if their ornamental features weren’t enough to allure onlookers, the Dog-rose produces ripe red fruit when the autumn season arrives.  Theorists say that the berries are high in Vitamin C so they’re desirable for natural healers who like to use them in brewed teas, wine, jellies and syrups.  


The first recorded significance of the flower dates back hundreds of years ago to The Academy of Floral Games (founded in 1323), which gifted poets a sprig of Dog-rose to reward them for their literary excellence.  Due to this ritual, the branches became increasingly popular and can be found frequently mentioned in several famous poems.  Most prevalent in the United Kingdom, William Shakespeare wrote about the flower in “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” quoting his words:


With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine."


Symbolically, the meaning of this shrub is quite extensive since the two dominating themes surrounding the flower are pain and pleasure.  The reference to “pain” is said to come from the belief that the medicinal properties of the plant can be used to cure a mad dog’s bite.  Rabies were commonly treated with the plant’s nectar before sophisticated medicines were discovered although if you ever find yourself in this situation without a nearby doctor, look for a berry from a Dog-rose bush and squeeze the juices onto the wound.  The positive meanings stem from its focus around “romanticism” and “pleasures of the body”.  In medieval times, Dog-rose was placed at the end of a maiden’s bed to signify a king’s interest in her company after the court and staff fell asleep.  Once the maiden received such a token, she was instructed to sneak into the royal chamber without being noticed where he would be waiting for her.


Today, the Dog-rose reflects a seasonal meaning of awaiting spring since it is one of the first bushes to bloom after the winter’s closure.  Used as either landscaping or as cut flowers, they make a beautiful variety for flower lovers to enjoy both in and outside their homes.  

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Rose Symbolism, Flower Meanings, Dog-rose,

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