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Flowers and their legends.
Carnations were known as "Jove's Flower" in ancient Rome as a tribute to one of
their beloved gods. In Korea, a young girl places three carnations in her hair to tell her fortune. If the top flower dies first, her last years of life will be difficult; if it's the middle flower, her earlier years will bring the most grief. Worst of all, if the bottom flower dies first, the poor girl will be miserable her whole life!
For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction. Light red
carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
White carnations indicate pure love and good luck; striped symbolize a regret
that a love cannot be shared. Green carnations are for St. Patrick's Day; purple
carnations indicate capriciousness.
Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to
Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross.
The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from
where her tears fell. Thus he pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's
undying love, and in 1907 was chosen by Ann Jarvis as the emblem of Mother's
Day, now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May.
Greek legend tells of a nymph named Lo, who was beloved by Zeus. To hide her from Hera, his wife, Zeus changed Lo into a white crow. When Lo wept over the taste and texture of the coarse grass, Zeus changed her tears into dainty, sweet smelling violets only she was permitted to eat.
Roman myth tells a a different story, one of lovely maids of antiquity who became the victims of Venus' wrath when Cupid judged them more beautiful than her. In jealous fury, Venus beat the maidens until they became blue, and thus turned into violets.
To dream of violets is a promise of advancement in life. They are considered a good luck gift to any woman in any season, but where violets bloom in autumn, epidemics will follow within the year.
Violets are a symbol of faithfulness.
Blue violets say "I'll always be true" and signify constancy
White violets depict modesty or the desire to "take a chance on happiness
Yellow violets convey modest worth.
Your grandmother may have called them jonquils, your mother named them daffodils, but
the horticultural texts all call them narcissus.
The daffodil, also known as the jonquil or narcissus, is believed to have been
brought to Britain by the Romans, who mistakenly believed that its sap could
heal wounds. (In fact, daffodil sap contains sharp crystals that prevent animals from eating the flower. While it did little to heal the Romans' wounds, it succeeded in further irritating their skin!)
Today, people associate the bright, yellow daffodil as a symbol of rebirth — a
sign of the new beginnings that come with spring. Indeed, the daffodil is the
birthday flower for March, the month in which the spring equinox begins. Daffodils are said to bring good fortune to the person who avoids trampling on them. Lest they bring unhappy vanity to the bride, daffodils should never be present at a wedding.
While daffodils can be taken to say, "my fond hopes have been dashed by your behavior," they mostly say, "the sun is always shining when I'm with you."
For the most part, daffodils signify unrequited love,
great regard and respect, and chivalry.
Perennial Sweet Pea flowers in the summer and has large flowers of red, white, pink, purple, blue, and yellow. The flowers of the Perennial Sweet Pea are not fragrant; however, the Annual Sweet Pea (L.odoratus) is fragrant. The Sweet Pea can grow on trellises and fences and likes full sun and a well-drained soil.
The meaning of Sweet Pea is blissful pleasure)
The sweet pea is popularly known as the "Queen of Annuals".
The name "sweet pea" is believed to have first been used by the poet Keats (1795-1821).
Sweet pea flowers naturally self pollinate while still in bud. They are not edible, being somewhat poisonous if eaten in quantity.
They come in a large range of colors, but not yellow.
Lilly of the Valley
The lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness.
Legend tells of the affection of a lily of the valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May. In Christian symbolism the lily represents purity, chastity, and innocence. White lily bouquets are especially popular in Christian homes during the Easter holiday, for they symbolize Christ's resurrection.
Legend tells that the lily sprang from Eve's tears, when upon being expelled from Eden she learned she was pregnant.
Other folklore tells of lilies, unplanted by any human hand spontaneously appearing on the graves of people executed for crimes they did not commit. Some believe that planting lilies in a garden will protect the garden from ghosts and evil spirits. On the whole, lilies imply purity of the heart. While lilies come in a variety of colors, most people readily associate lilies with white, meaning innocence and sweetness.
The white Madonna lily is considered the special flower of the Holy Virgin, for Christian lore tells that the lily had been yellow until the day the Virgin Mary stooped to pick it.
Yellow lilies express gratitude and gaiety.
One of the earliest flowers know to man, symbolize love magic, hope, passion.
The rose represents beauty and perfection.
The name rose comes from the Latin word rosa which means red.
Nebuchadnezzar used roses to decorate his palace.
They were grown for perfume oil in Persia.
The Greeks associated roses with the blood of Aphrodite's beloved Adonis.
Red Roses- I love you
Pink Roses - Elegance grace frivolity
Yellow - friendship, joy
Peach- desire, excitement
White - innocence and secrecy
The larkspur or Delphinium is named for the shape of their flowers. The flower resembles the bottle-like nose of a dolphin.
The spur, on the other hand, reminded some people of parts of the lark; hence "larkspur," "lark's heel," and "lark's claw."
According to Greek legend, Achilles' mother requested that her son's armor be
given to the most heroic Greek warrior during the Battle of Troy. To the dismay of
the brave warrior Ajax, the armor was awarded to Ulysses. Dejected, Ajax threw
himself on his sword, and small blue delphiniums or Larkspurs sprung from the blood that fell to the ground. Delphinium petals are marked with the Greek letters AI, the Greek cry of mourning.
Delphiniums, (Larkspurs) signify an open heart and ardent attachment;
larkspurs generally symbolize lightness and swiftness.
The name "gladiolus" is derived from the Latin word gladius, meaning "sword," for the shape of its leaves. An ancient name for the gladiolus was "xiphium," from the Greek word xiphos, also meaning sword.
The gladiolus flower is the birth flower for August; it also represented the Roman gladiators. Before the African gladioli became popular in the West, the Mediterranean and British gladiolus flowers were used to treat physical ailments. The English used the gladiolus flower's stem base (corms) as a poultice and for drawing out thorns and splinters; powdered corms mixed with goat's milk was commonly used to soothe the symptoms of colic.
The gladiolus flower signifies remembrance.
It also expresses infatuation, telling the receiver that he or she "pierces the heart."
The Aster which means "star" in Latin.
Asters are the birth flower for September and the herb goddess Venus.
Ancient people believed that the odour of the leaves of the aster when burnt, drove away serpents.
Asters were laid on the graves of French soldiers to symbolize the wish that things had turned out differently.
One myth tells that the asters were created from stardust when Virgo looked down from the heavens and wept.
Asters colors means afterthought or a wish that things were different -- except in china where the color signifies fidelity
The Latin meaning of this plant is "throughout the months"
It is a member of the marigold family and early Christians and Ancient India, called it Mary's Gold and it was strung in garlands and place around the necks of holy statues or by the statue of The Virgin Mary.
Since the calendula's flower head follows the sun it its sometimes called "summer's bride" or "husbandman's dial"
The calendula flower means "winning grace" in the language of flowers.
It has also been valued for it's medicinal and culinary uses. An ancient beverage made from a mixture of calendula blossoms in wine was said to soothe indigestion. The petals were used in ointments that cured skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches. The Romans used it mixed with vinegar to season meat and salad dishes.
Commonly called "mums" or "tansies," this popular perennial's name comes from the Greek chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower).
The chrysanthemum has been the focus of Oriental adulation for centuries.
Mums were considered one of the four Chinese "noble plants" , and were the official badge of the Old Chinese Army. Since chrysanthemums were considered the flower of the Chinese noble class, they were prohibited in a lower-class person's garden. The Chinese believe that a chrysanthemum given to one's beloved, after its being used to wipe one's mouth after drinking wine, will ensure undying love and fidelity.
Called "kikus" in Japanese, chrysanthemums were featured on the Imperial Crest of Japan, and were so beloved by Japanese emperors that they sat upon chrysanthemum thrones. The Japanese still hold the chrysanthemum as a symbol of the sun, and
they consider the orderly unfolding of the mum's petals to be a symbol of perfection. They also presume that a single chrysanthemum petal placed in the bottom of a wine glass encourages a long and healthy life.
While chrysanthemums generally denote cheerfulness and rest, individual colors do carry specific messages:
red for love, good luck and best wishes;
white for truth; and yellow for slighted love.
Chrysanthemums will be welcomed throughout the British Isles and North America for any occasion.
In Italy, however, their exclusive association with the dead makes chrysanthemums acceptable only for funerals.
The legend of the flower Narcissus
One day, Narcissus was walking close to a cold mountain pool that mirrored his beautiful face.
"You are handsome, Narcissus!" he told himself as he bent down to admire his reflection. "There's nobody so handsome in the whole world! I'd love to kiss you."
As he leaned closer to kiss his own reflection he fell into the water, and as he could not swim he drowned. But when the God's discovered, the most beautiful thing on earth had died, they decided such beauty could not be forgotten. The Gods turned Narcissus into a scented flower which, to this day blossoms in the mountains in spring and which
is still called Narcissus. Narcissus have long narrow leaves and usually white or yellow flowers characterized by a cup shaped or trumpet shaped central crown.
The narcissus is most commonly known as the "daffodil". The name, narcissus, comes from a Greek word meaning "to numb". It was given this name because if you are enclosed in a small space with the flower, the scent will induce a headache. Both the Greeks and Egyptians related the flower with death. The Egyptians often hung wreaths of narcissus during funerals.
In medieval Europe, it was believed that if a daffodil drooped when you looked at it, it was an omen of death. The Arabians, however, viewed this flower as an aphrodisiac. It is the national flower of Wales because it blooms on March 1st, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales, St. David.
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