Witches and apothecaries have been aware of the mysterious and magical properties of plants and flowers for centuries, using them for healing and magic spells. Plants have a personality and individuality, they go through phases and moods just like people, sometimes they are active, other times inactive. It is thought that before a tree is chopped down it actually experiences fear, some plants and flowers are more sensitive than others and react to people’s energy and words.
Flowers and plants feel the energy of love and all plants thrive in a calm and happy environment, they especially enjoy music and have varied tastes depending on what species they are, the emotion they release is dictated by their surroundings. They have auras and react to people’s moods, becoming tense if around loud or erratic energies, they have an awareness and feel empathy. Tests were conducted in the 70?s, the discovery was that when plants were subjected to undue stress they fainted and remained non responsive for a time.
In October 1970 an article was published in Russia proclaiming that plants talk, they not only talk they scream, they stoically bear pain and accept misfortune. It was written in the article that a barley sprout, attached to very sensitive electronic equipment, cried out when its roots were plunged into hot water. This sound was registered by the electronic instrument attached to the barley sprout, also revealed was a “bottomless vale of tears” on a broad paper band. The recording pen zigzagged crazily out on the white track, documenting the agonising death throws of the barley sprout. Some kind of brain cells within were telling those conducting the experiment what was happening.
Professor Ivan Isidogovich Gunar, was head of a Plant Physiology Department, and along with his staff conducted hundreds of experiments on plants, these confirmed the presence of electrical impulses in plants, similar to the nerve impulses in man. Professor Gunar talked about plants and their distinguishing habits, characteristics and proclivities. He seemed to have the ability to converse with them. A former engineer, Leonid A. Panishkin, became Gunar’s chief assistant. When asked why he gave up technology to work on plants alongside Gunar in his laboratory, he said, “well there I used to be involved with metallurgy, here there is life.” It seems that plants also have short term memory.
In Bengal India, off the Acharya Prafullachandra Road north of Calcutta University, there are some buildings made of gray and purple sandstone. The main one is the Indian Temple of Science, inside this temple there are glass cases, which contain instruments that were devised more than fifty years ago, to measure the growth and behavior of plants by magnification processes up to 100 million times. Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose who built the Institute of research and its gardens, could not be accurately evaluated because he was so far in advance of his time.
Bose travelled to Europe in 1914, his fourth scientific journey, in England Bose conducted an experiment using his highly sensitive instruments, the specimens he tested were Mimosa pudica and Desmodium gyrons. In his demonstrations at Cambridge and Oxford, the audience was shown how a plant that was touched on one side would shiver and react on the other.
Rudolf Jakob Damerarius, a German professor of medicine and director of the botanical gardens at Tubingen, published a book in 1694, he was the first botanist to reveal that flowering plants have sex and that pollen is necessary for fertilisation and seed formation. He stated that plants have female organs in the form of vulva, vagina, uterus and ovaries, serving the same functions as they do in women, as well as male organs in the form of penis, and testes, designed to sprinkle the air with billions of spermatozoa. And like animals and women, flowers exude a powerful and seductive odor when ready for mating, triggering bees, birds and butterflies to join in these rites. Flowers that are not fertilised will emit a strong fragrance for up to eight days, or until the plant withers, once the flower is impregnated the powerful fragrance ceases.
In the mid 1900?s Gustav Theodor Fechner came to a profound understanding that plants possessed a soul and had undreamed of sensitivity, he believed that all things in different ways express a cosmic soul. He thought it was just as likely that “plant people”, rooted to the spot and living their serene lives, might be wondering why humans were rushing around all the time. Just as there are souls running and leaping and screeching, there are likely to be souls which bloom in calm and stillness, exhaling fragrance satisfying their thirst with dew. All this while communicating with each other by the perfume they exude, and becoming aware of each other through their senses, just as people recognise each other by voice, flowers recognise each other by scent.
In the twentieth century, Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, an electrician and amateur photographer and his wife Valentina, built a laboratory in the corner of their small apartment. One evening they made the discovery that allowed them to photographically reproduce (with neither lens nor camera), an otherworldly luminescence which emanated from all living things, but could not be detected by the naked eye. A plant specialist from Moscow sought the couple out, appearing as a stranger at their apartment and asking them if they could make photographs of the strange energy, which he had heard only they could make visible on film. The man then handed them what appeared to be two identical leaves and they began their work immediately he left that evening, staying up until the early hours of the morning working, they were disappointed to find that only one leaf produced viable energy flares from its leaves, from the other a barely discernable energy.
They showed what they assumed was a poor result to the scientist, he was ecstatic with the results shouting “but you’ve found it, you’ve proven it photographically!” The scientist then explained to the couple that although the leaves looked identical, one had been plucked from a diseased plant and the other from a healthy specimen. The pictures taken by the couple clearly differentiated between the two specimens, illness actually manifests in a plant’s energy field before its physical body showed symptoms.
For centuries philosophers and seers alleged that plants, animals and human beings, have fields of photoplasmic energy which permeate the solid physical bodies of molecules and atoms. In ancient iconography, the “aura” depicted around the bodies of saints, with golden halos around the head, has been claimed by those with the psychic gift since historical documentation began. The Kirlians discovered how to photograph an aura by placing film in contact with an object they wished to photograph. They then passed through the object an electric current from a high frequency spark generator, which put out 75,000 to 200,000 electrical pulses per second.
When leaves were placed with film between the electrodes of their device, a micro-universe of tiny starry points of light were revealed. Emanating out of what looked to be channels in the leaves were white, blue, red and yellow flares. These force fields around a leaf became distorted if the leaf was damaged, diminishing and disappearing as the leaf died. The Kirlians found that rays of energy and swirling firebalsl of light shot out of plants into space.
It was some years before Russia showed interest in the astounding work of the Kirlians. In 1968 a scientific paper was written, based on the work of the Kirlians, by Professor Vladimir Inyushin, while working with several of his colleagues in Russia. Inyushin went a step further than Kirlian, who believed the strange energy in his pictures was caused by “changing the non-electrical properties of bodies into electrical properties which are transferred to film.” Professor Inyushin and his collaborators declared that the bioluminescence visible in Kirlian pictures was not caused by the electrical state of the organism, but by “biological plasma body,” a new word for the “astral” or “etheric” body of the ancients.
During six years researching Kirlian photography, Professor Inyushin discovered that specific areas of the human body revealed characteristic colours which may prove significant in the diagnosis of illness. The clearest photographs were taken at four o’clock in the afternoon, the worst photographs at midnight. Inyushin believed that his “bioplasma” body, was the “aura” or the “astral” body.
The research of Viktor Adamenko and other Soviet scientists determined that the “bioplasma” undergoes a drastic shift when placed in a magnetic field. And that it is concentrated at hundreds of points in the human body, which correspond to the ancient Chinese system of acupuncture points. These points were mapped as paths by the Chinese thousands of years ago, they discovered seven hundred points on the human skin where a life force exists and circulates. The Chinese insert needles at these points to cure disease and correct imbalances in the energy flow. The Kirlian light was the most brilliant in the spots on the human body that correlated with the acupuncture points the Chinese had mapped. Kirlian photography continues to be used, particularly by those involved in occult practices.
The well-known Austrian natural scientist and clairvoyant Rudolf Steiner believed that cosmic etheric forces must exist if only by the fact that some plants will only germinate in the spring, no matter what amounts of heat and water are given to them during other times of the year.
Flowers can be a symbol of happiness and sadness, flowers and death are synonymous, with a history of use on graves and in funerals. They also celebrate the birth of a new soul, a small baby coming into the world about to embark on a journey of discovery. The scent of a flower can take you back to a time of sadness or happiness. We use flowers as a part of many rituals, the sight and smell of flowers in the home always evokes a feeling of wellbeing. In our day to day life flowers are used naturally and they are seen as a symbol of life, they are beautiful and they are fragile. There are many myths and superstitions about flowers, if you plant flowers on the evening of a new Moon it is lucky and the ancient Egyptians believed that giving flowers would bring them good luck. If a flower is removed from the site of a grave and thrown away, the place where the flower lands will be haunted ever after. Always give red flowers to someone who is ill as red represents life and healthy red blood cells, under no circumstances give white flowers to a sick person, it is back luck. Giving a flower to someone you care about is a loving gesture and there is an art to choosing the right flower for that person.
During Victorian times flower giving was particularly symbolic, due to strict social guidelines emotions and thoughts could not readily be expressed between men and women. They relied on communication using elaborately created symbolism in the form of flowers. A language that all men and women, courting or otherwise, understood. Succint messages, conveyed as eloquently as the spoken word were sent via flowers. Thoughts, feelings and emotions were understood by the recipient depending on what type of flower was sent, whether there was a bunch of flowers or a single flower. Everything that could be adorned with flowers during the Victorian era was, the home, wallpaper, jewellery, stationary, crockery, hair, clothing.
Adding to the elaborate language of flowers was the significance of their scent, instead of a gift of flowers, a scented handkerchief could be sent. For a woman to drop a scented handkerchief purposely in close proximity to a man was considered quite seductive. The first book written on flower symbolism in modern times was in 1819, it was titled Le Language des Fleurs, and it was by Madame Charlotte de la Tour.
In modern times flowers are still sent to those who are ill, or recovering from an accident or ailment, to welcome the birth of a baby or celebrate a marriage, to mourn a death or offer congratulations. They are given for birthdays, anniversaries, housewarming, to celebrate holidays and as a simple gesture of friendship. The modern world takes less notice of the symbolism of flowers than they did in times gone by. In contrast the tradition of girls being named after flowers is as popular these days as it ever was, and has existed in many cultures throughout time. Some of the names used are Fern, Primrose, Violet, Jasmine, Poppy, Lily, Rose, Holly, Heather, Lavender, Ivy, Iris, Fleur, Daisy and Willow named after the willow tree, many of which are found in Devon in the South of England.
Magical Meaning of Flowers;
Aster (daintiness) (love, from the Greek word for “star”)
Apothecaries, witches and healers, believed Asters to have healing properties. Asters were laid on the graves of French soldiers to symbolise peace.
Azalea (temperance – passion – womanhood – fragility)
Azaleas grow as shrubs and small trees with a large and abundant flower display. The English name derived from the Greek word azaleos, meaning “dry.”
Baby’s Breath (innocence)
Baby’s breath symbolises purity of heart, the breath of the Holy Spirit and tenderness. Baby’s breath is a dense cluster of delicate flowers, a favourite of brides symbolising peace, love and unity.
Bachelor Button (celibacy – single – blessedness – delicacy)
Bachelor button symbolises hope in love, and is also known as the cornflower, basket flower and boutonniere flower. Young men wore a bachelor button flower signifying their love for a young woman, the flower faded quickly if the love was unrequited. This beautiful blue cornflower is Poland’s national flower. Bachelor buttons have been prized historically for their pigment.
Bamboo (balance – flexibility – immortality – youth)
Bamboo is a symbol for long life and is the most popular plant in China, it is considered a gentleman with perfect virtues and has the balance of Yin and the Yang. When a storm comes the bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm ceases, it resumes its upright position. It has the ability to overcome adversity and stand firmly
Bauhinia – (harmony)
The bauhinia has orchid-like flowers that are purple-red and surrounded by thick, heart shaped leaves, the flowers bloom from November to March. The Bauhinia flower features on the flag of Hong Kong.
Begonia – (beware – fanciful nature)
Begonias grow in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia. Begonias have showy flowers of white, pink, scarlet, yellow, and attractively marked leaves.
Bird of Paradise – (faithfulness – freedom – perspective)
The bird of paradise flower is named because of a resemblance to the actual bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a “crane” flower.
Bluebell – (constancy – humility – gratitude) sometimes (“wild hyacinths”)
Bluebells are considered, not only beautiful but magical, they are closely linked to the realm of fairies and are sometimes referred to as “fairy thimbles.” In order to call fairies to a convention the bluebells would be rung, and children who picked them sometimes disappeared. Because of her connection with war and death, the bluebell keeps her head bowed, as bowmen in the Middle Ages glued feathers onto arrows using bluebell sap. Bluebells are known as Deadmen’s Bells.
Buttercup – (neatness – humility – childishness)
The buttercup is sometimes called “Coyote’s Eyes,” from the American legend of the coyote tossing his eyes up in air and catching them again, when an eagle swooped down and snatched the eyes. Not able to see, the coyote made eyes from the buttercup. Buttercups are part of a large genus of 400 species.
Cactus – (endurance – burning love – maternal love – strength)
Cacti are unique, distinctive plants, adapted to extremely arid and hot climates and have water conserving features. Their stems have green succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for growth and life, the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so well known. The cactus is a hardy and resilient plant.
Calendula – (despair – grief – sorrow)
Calendula blossoms are used to ease indigestion, and calendula petals are used in ointments to heal skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches.
Calla Lily – (magnificent beauty)
The calla lily is native to southern Africa and is visible in many works of art.
Camellia – (perfection – gratitude – reasoning – admiration – good luck)
Each colour has a symbolic meaning including innate worth, adoration, perfection and loveliness (white) innate worth, adoration, perfection, loveliness, (pink) longing, longing for love, (red) excellence, heart flame. The English name is derived from the Latin name camellia, named after the Czech-born missionary and botanist George Josef Kamel, whose name was originally derived from the word kamel, meaning “camel.”
Carnation – (impulsiveness – joy – devotion – love – fascination – capriciousness) white carnation meaning (disdain – refusal)
Carnations were used in Greek ceremonial crowns. The name carnation may come from the Greek carnis (flesh) and refer to the incarnation of God made flesh. The English name derived from the flower name, from French carnation, meaning “complexion,” from Italian carnagione, meaning “flesh-colored.” The carnation is also known as “the poor man’s rose.”
Cattail – (prosperity – peace)
Cattails or bulrushes, are wetland plants with spongy, strap-like leaves and creeping stems, the thick root can be ground to make a flour substitute. The spread of cattails assists the process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and eventually to dry land.
Chamomile (action – movement – energy)
The extract of German chamomile is taken as a strong tea and is used in herbal medicine as a digestive aid, it has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea is used to calm the nerves and chamomile makes an excellent mouthwash against mouth and gum infections. It is used in ointments and lotions and is very soothing.
Cherry Blossom (learning – education)
In China the cherry blossom is a symbol of feminine beauty, it represents the feminine principle and love. Falling blossoms symbolise fallen warriors who died in battle, and symbolise the samurai. Cherry blossoms in Japan symbolise the transience of life because of their short blooming times.
The Christmas rose is purported to have flowered on Christmas Day, thus associated with the infant Jesus. It is a member of the genus Helleborus and is not related to the rose bush. The Christmas Rose (sometimes known as the Lenten Rose) of Mary Gardens, bears pure white or pink flowers.
Chrysanthemum – (wealth – optimism – cheerfulness – abundance)
The name is derived from the feminine form of Greek (Chrysanthos), meaning “golden flower.” Chrysanthemums are associated with death in Italy. Colour meanings (white) truth, hope, rest and friendship, (red) love, (yellow) slighted love. The Japanese put a single chrysanthemum petal on the bottom of a wine glass to sustain a long and healthy life, and Japanese emperors sat on their Chrysanthemum throne.
Crocus – (joy – happiness – cheerfulness)
The genus crocus is in the iris family, the plants grow from corm, are mainly perennials and found in woodland and meadows, crocuses are native to central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and China.
Cyclamen – (goodbye – resignation)
Cyclamen grow in dry forest or scrub areas, have white, bright pink, red or purple flowers, and are native to Africa and the Mediterranean. They are part of the primrose family, although bare no resemblance.
Daffodil – (regard – chivalry – respect – unrequited love – sunshine – happiness)
In Greek mythology the daffodil is described as a pale yellow deathless kind of lily flower, that overspreads the plains of Hades, and is the favourite food of the dead. The traditional daffodil has a yellow to golden-yellow color all over, and due to breeding the daffodil may be variously colored. Breeders have developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows of petals, and several wild species have double variants. The English name is derived from the flower name, from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, meaning “asphodel flower.”
Dandelion (nature’s oracle)
In Medieval times the dandelion was called lion’s teeth, because its leaves had jagged tooth like edges. The dandelion has for centuries been consulted as an oracle, the time can be told by the number of blows to get rid of the seeds. For a prophecy about how long it is until your wedding day, count the number of seeds left after you have blown on them once, the number of seeds left tells you how many years it will be.
Dahlia – (forever – dignity – elegance – forever thine)
The dahlia was used as a food source in the 1940?s by the Europeans, when the French potato crop was destroyed by disease. The dahlia is named after Anders Dahl, the 18th century Swedish botanist. The English name is derived from the flower name, taken from the surname of Anders Dahl, meaning “valley,” from this “dahlia flower” or “valley flower. The Aztecs used dahlias to treat epilepsy.
Daisy – (feelings shared – innocence – purity – beauty – simplicity – loyalty – love) also known as (“flowery mead”)
The English name is derived from the flower name, from Old English daegeseage, “day’s eye. “ Hairpins decorated with daisies were found during the excavation of the Minoan Palace on the Island of Crete, and daisies are believed to be several thousand years old. Egyptian ceramics were decorated with daisies. Maidens grabbed a bunch of daises with their eyes closed, then counted them to find out how many years until they were to marry. Originally known as ‘bruisword’, and used to heal bruises. It is considered good luck to step on the first daisy of the year
Dandelion – (affection requited – sympathy – happiness – love’s oracle – faithfulness – desire)
The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, in northern areas and places where the dandelion is not native, it has become a weed.
Day Lily – (forgetting worries) in China (symbolic of devotion to mother)
The flower means “Suited for A Boy,” it was used as a lucky talisman by expectant mothers who wished for a baby boy. “In China when the day lily has a cheerful position, the flower is called “Wong Yu.”
Delphinium – (levity – ardent attachment – fun – light of heart – joyous)
Delphinium derived from the French form of the Latin, Delphinia, meaning “woman from Delphi.” The flower resembles nose of the dolphin, and delphiums were thought to repel scorpions. The Native Americans used delphiniums to make blue dye and the Europeans made ink.
Edelweiss – (courage – noble purity – daring)
Edelweiss is a European mountain flower a member of the sunflower family, its flowers are felted and woolly with white hairs, the characteristic bloom consists of five to six small yellow flower heads surrounded by leaflets. The name edelweiss is German, edel (noble) and weiss (white).
Fern – (shelter – discretion – secret bond of love – confidence – fascination – magic – reverie)
Ferns do not have seeds or flowers, but reproduce by spores. There are about 12,000 varieties worldwide, and fern is derived from Old English fear, meaning “fern,” a type of leafy plant. Flower and plant names were popular in the 19th century and the name was first used then.
Forget me not (never forget me)
Forget-me-not the flower symbolism associated with the forget-me-not is true love and memories. In 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. In a medieval legend, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river, he picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river, as he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted “Forget-me-not”. It is also told in pious legend that the Christ child was sitting on Mary’s lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see them. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots appeared. Forget me nots acquired the name when a knight leapt into the river Danube to get a pretty blue flower for his lady, it was floating on the water and she was sad it may be swept away by the water. Tragically the current dragged the knight down, he threw his lady the flower before he drowned, crying, “Forget me not.” The lady wore the flowers in her hair ever after to always remember him. It is said that forget me nots planted on the grave of someone you love, will never die as long as you live. Blue and pink flowers are found on the same stem, blue for boys and pink for girls. Forget me nots are given as a symbol of remembrance.
Foxglove – (youth – stateliness)
Foxglove is symbolic of both healing and harm, foxglove flowers have both positive and negative symbolic meanings. The scientific name is digitalis, a reference to the presence of extremely powerful chemicals used to treat heart conditions when correctly administered. However if taken in large amounts it is deadly.
Fuchsia – (love)
Fuchsia flowers are a delicate teardrop shape and grow in profusion throughout summer and autumn, tropical species grow all year round. Hummingbirds are attracted to the glorious red sepals and beautiful purple petals.
Gardenia – (secret love – refinement – beauty – purity) meaning (“garden flower”)
Gardenia plants have a strong sweet scent, the flower can be very large in some species. Gardenias are native to Asia, Australasia, Oceana and Africa, they also grow in Hawaii.
Geranium – (friendship-folly-stupidity-meeting)
The temperate regions of the world and tropical mountains are where the geranium will be found. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning “crane”. The appearance of the geraniums seed-heads are the same shape as the bill of a crane.
Gladiolus – (strength – astounding beauty – preparedness – love at first sight)
The stem base (corms) of the gladiolus were made into a poultice for thorns and splinters and used for it’s healing properties. The name gladiolus comes from the sword or “gladius” shape leaves. The gladiolus symbolised the Roman gladiators.
Globe Amaranth – (unfading love)
The globe amaranth is an annual plant that grows up to 24 inches in height, it is a genus of plants in the Amaranthaceae family. The true species of globe amaranth has magenta flowers, then there are garden varieties with purple, white, red, lilac and pink.
Hawthorn – (hope) and (May)
The hawthorn is a pagan symbol for life, in Devon it is considered unlucky as the fairies might cast a spell on you if you sit under a hawthorn. The hawthorn is believed to be haunted by fairies and is sometimes called ‘Fairy Thorn.’ Farmers believed hawthorn was lucky and would hang it outside the cowsheds so the cows would give plenty of milk. The hawthorn flowers in May.
Mandrake (the Magician)
The mandrake or mandragora, is one of the most important hallucinogens in Western Europe and the Near East, in over two millennia. It is a flowering plant that can give life or cause death, depending on its use. The mandrake has many uses and has been a favourite of apothecaries, witches considered it indispensable and used it for spells and healing. Apothecaries and witches used mandrake when they wished to make a particularly strong potion. In order for Odysseus to withstand the magic of Circe, Hermes gave the mandrake to him. Herbalist shops in the early twentieth century, situated in the less affluent areas of London, sold mandrake. Many women who owned mandrakes fed and clothed them, these women were accused of being witches and burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. The mandrake was dressed in expensive cloth, bathed several times a year, given food to eat, water to drink, and considered human.
The mandrake is considered part plant, part human and imbued with magical powers. The mandrake exudes a strong, unusual but pleasant scent. It is a perennial with a strange appearance, it has broad leaves with white, yellow or purple flower, the fruit is similar to a plum. The root is black, forked and a foot long, with the semblence of human male form with a penis, a subsidiary root which sticks out.
When a mandrake is being pulled out it shrieks like a person, and a black dog is used to pull it out, as the mandrake shrieks the dog dies. The mandrake has pharmacological effects as a pain killer, erotica, a sleep inducer, during the transition between consciousness and sleep it causes hallucinations.
A technique used in Turkey was to extract the mandrake root and cut it to manipulate its shape, then to apply pressure bandages and replant it in the ground. When next extracted after more growth, no one could tell it was crafted by hands other than nature. Six mandrakes of this nature were created and exhibited by Von Luschan, in 1891. He declared that a clever artist could create figures that looked genuine, and no one would know they were not nature’s gift. These treasures were so rare it was a life threatening undertaking to obtain one, they were valuable talismans and were extremely expensive.
Hibiscus – (delicate beauty)
Hibiscus is a large genus containing over 200 species, butterflies and bees are attracted to it. Hibiscus tea is a soothing tea enjoyed by many, it is also considered a healing tonic.
Symbolism associated with the holly is defense, domestic happiness and forecast. The Romans decorated their hallways with holly garlands for their mid-winter celebration, Saturnalia. Medieval monks called the holly the Holy Tree and believed holly would keep away evil spirits and protect their homes from lightening. The pointed leaves represented the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, and the red berries symbolised drops of his blood.
Honeysuckle – (love – loving bonds)
The wood of the honeysuckle contains nepetalactone, which is the active ingredient found in catnip. Some species of honeysuckle have bell-shaped flowers, honeysuckle is a twining flower grown in China, North America and Europe.
Huckleberry – (faith – simple pleasures)
Due to the size of the tiny huckleberries, they were used to refer to something small, often as a term of endearment. The phrase “a huckleberry over my persimmon,” meaning “a bit beyond my abilities”. “I’ll be your huckleberry,” meaning “I am the person for the job.”
Hyacinth – (games – rashness – playfulness – joy – sports – rebirth) derived from the Latin form of Greek (hyakinthos.)
The hyacinth flower is used in the Haftseen table setting, in honour of the Persian New Year celebrations. Hyacinths are named after Hyacinth, a figure in Greek mythology, a youth who was loved and accidentally killed by Apollo. The hyacinth flower sprouted from his blood, and hyacinths are often associated with rebirth.
Impatiens – (motherly love)
Impatiens planted in the medieval Mary gardens, gardens devoted to the Virgin Mary, were called “Our Lady’s earings.” Impatiens flowers come in many forms, some orchid shaped, others with flat flowers. They are thought of as a sacred flower.
Iris – (wisdom – faith – friendship – to cherish – valor – hope – love’s promise)
Iris is the name of a mythological rainbow goddess, the Greek meaning is “rainbow.” The Iris is the emblem of France and Florence. Iris is used by the English as a feminine name, it is used by a male or female, by those of Jewish heritage. Irises were used in Mary Gardens, and the blade-shaped foliage symbolises the sorrows which ‘pierced her heart.’
Ivy – (weddings – Christmas – fidelity – friendship – affection)
Ivy is a strong climbing vine, used by many for garden walls and for garden decoration, ivy climbing the walls of a home, conjures visions or romance and country cottages. Ivy adds a particular charm, a smoothly cemented wall is impenetrable to the climbing roots of ivy and ivy can protect the walls from the weather.
Jasmine – (sensuality – grace – elegance – attachment – modesty)
Jasmine is known for its potent fragrance and jasmine is used in some of the world’s oldest and most beautiful scents. Widely cultivated for its flowers and immensely popular as a climbing, fragrant cover in a garden. No one can miss the potent scent of jasmine flowers wafting through the home. In southeast and southern Asia, women adorn their hair with jasmine. Many people enjoy jasmine tea, and it is frequently used by those involved in healing, some use it as a preventative medicine. Derived from the Persian yasmin, meaning “jasmine flower.”
The symbolism associated with The Lady’s Mantle, is as a cloak for the Blessed Virgin, and it was grown in the Mary Gardens. Dew is associated with magic, and the dew that collects on the lady’s mantle, is named alchemilla “little magical one.” People stuffed their pillows with it to ensure a good night’s sleep, the dew was used as a beauty lotion.
Lilac – (pride – youth – innocence – beauty)
The colour lilac comes from the beautiful pale purple colour of the lilac flower. Lilacs are also white, pale yellow, pink or burgundy and are known for their strong, heady perfume like scent. Lilac became popular in England because of its femininity, it is the state flower of New Hampshire and lilacs grow on trees or shrubs.
Lily – (chastity – fleur-de-lis – faith – wisdom – Holy Trinity – chivalry – royalty – fertility)
In both pagan and Christian traditions, lilies symbolise fertility, depending on the type of lily there are many meanings. Calla lily beauty, China lily mother, orange lily hatred, tiger lily wealth- pride, white lily purity, virginity, sweetness, virginity majesty, it’s heavenly to be with you. Yellow lily gaiety, gratitude, I’m light as a feather, happiness. In Greek marriage ceremonies the bride wears a crown of lilies. In religious terms the lily symbolises the annunciation of the birth of Jesus by the angel Gabriel. In both Christian and pagan traditions lilies symbolise fertility.
Lotus – (forgotten past – estranged love) meaning Hebrew lowt (“covering, veil”)
The lotus is known as the “sacred water lily” in Buddhism and Hinduism. Lotus roots are widely used in Asian cuisine and the lotus is the national flower of India, and the blue or Indian lotus, is known as the bean of India. The English name is derived from the flower name, from Latin lotus and from Greek lotus, and the Egyptian “white lotus.”
Lupine – (imagination) meaning “lupinus” (“of wolves”)
The name derived from the belief of ancient peoples, that lupines robbed the soil of nutrients, in reality lupines add nitrogen to the soil. The lupine blossoms exude a delicious fragrance of honey, and the Karner blue butterfly’s caterpillar, gets it’s nourishment from lupines, its only food source.
Magnolia – (love – nature – nobility – perseverance)
The Magnolia’s abundance in Mississippi is reflected in its state nickname, the “Magnolia State”, it is also the state flower of Louisiana. The abundance of Magnolia Trees growing along Buffalo Bayou, in Houston, Texas, led to the nickname “The Magnolia City.”
Marigold – (passion -creativity) known as (Mary’s Gold ), referred to as (“golden gifts”) and (“Herb of the Sun”)
Marigolds were given as religious offerings to the Virgin, usually by the poor who could not afford to give actual gold, and they were used in Mary Gardens. The English name derives from the flower name, Mary, meaning “the Mother Ray,” and the word “gold” (Marigold). Marigolds have been used as love charms, in rituals and worn as talismans. Marigold flowers added to pillows encourage prophetic or psychic dreams. They are also a favourite with brides, who have them woven into wedding garlands.
Marjoram – (happiness – joy) also called (sweet majoram)
Marjoram is cultivated for its fragrant leaves, either green or dry it is used in cooking. It does not like the cold and is an under shrub, with citrus flavours and sweet pine. As marjoram begins to flower the tops are cut and dried in the shade. Healers often used marjoram in their concoctions.
Morning Glory – (affection)
Morning glory flowers are funnel-shaped and open in the morning, this is the time of day they are pollinated by bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, birds and insects. New flowers bloom each day as the life span of the flower is only one morning, in the afternoon the morning glory dies.
Narcissus – (normality – sweetness – vanity – self-esteem) from the Greek Narkissos meaning (numbness – sleep)
The name narcissus is derived from Greek mythology, and the recounts the tale of a young man named Narcissus, who knelt by the river bank and gazed into a pool of water. Narcissus became so obsessed with his own reflection, he fell into the water and drowned. From the spot where Narcissus died, the narcissus grew.
Nasturtium – (victory – battle – conquest), nasturtium (“nose-twister”) or (“nose-tweaker”)
In some countries the nasturtium leaves are used as food, the name Tropaeolum majus, is Latin for trophy, a reference to war. Nasturtium have showy, often intensely bright flowers and rounded, shield-shaped leaves.
Orange Blossom – (innocence, fruitfulness – marriage – innocence – good fortune)
Orange blossom is the state flower of Florida, and a favourite of brides either to carry or wear in their hair and is used for headresses. Citrus-scented rosewater is made from the petals of orange blossom. Orange blossom water is used as a common additive to food in various cultures.
Orchid – (charm – maturity – love – beauty – children – thoughtfulness)
The English name comes from the flower name, from Greek orkhis, meaning “testicle,” from Proto-Indo-European orghi, given its name because of the shape of its root. The orchid’s popularity remains constant.
Pansy – called the “heartsease” or “Johnny Jump Up – (merriment – thoughtfulness)
The name pansy is from the French word pensée meaning “thought,” named so because the flower resembles a human face. Each year in August, as though it is in deep thought, the pansy nods.
Peony Flower Symbolism
Peony flower symbolism the flower symbolism associated with the peony is happy marriage, compassion and bashfulness. Peonies are extensively grown as ornamental plants for their very large, often scented flowers. The English name is derived from the flower name, peony, which was named after the physician god Paeon because the flower was formerly used in medicine. Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds due to the nectar that forms. Peonies are herbaceous plants or woody shrubs with red, white or yellow flowers.
Petunia – (soothing)
The petunia Capital of the world, is Dixon, Illinois, where the Petunia Festival is held. All the streets are lined with petunias. Petunia’s are related to chillis, tobacco and tomatoes
Poinsettia – (purity – celebration – Christmas)
Poinsettias are also known as the “Christmas flower” and “Mexican flame leaf.” Poinsettias originally came from Mexico and Central America. A Christmas legend tells the tale of a poverty stricken child, too poor to buy a present for the Christ child, who plucked a weed from the side of the road. The plant magically blossomed into red and green flowers just as he entered the church.
Poppy – (beauty – magic – consolation – fertility – eternal life)
Poppies were used by the Egyptians to decorate burial tombs, and for funerals. Poppies are synonymous with sleep and rest. Poppies were used by the Greeks in the shrines of the goddess of fertility, Demeter, and the goddess of the hunt, Diana. Poppies are an emblem of those who died in World War I.
Pussy Willow (motherhood)
Pussy willows sprout during the first signs of spring, and if picked just as the buds expend in spring it can last indefinitely when dried. They are a popular flower to be used in the home for decoration.
Rhododendron – (caution – beware – be alert) (rhododendron means “rose tree”
The rhododendron’s symbolism is caution, beware, be alert, this is due to its properties which are toxic to animals, it is also a hallucogen and affects humans as a laxative. There are over a thousand species of rhododendrons, and It is the state flower of West Virginia, Washington USA, and the national flower of Nepal.
Rose – (love – remembrance – beauty)
The rose is always associated with love and romance, the meaning of roses red/passion, white/purity, pink/happiness, be careful who you give a yellow rose to yellow/infidelity. Roses were introduced to Europe during the Roman Empire and predominantly used for decoration. Roses were first cultivated 5,000 years ago in Asian gardens, and Confucius declared that the emperor of China owned more than 600 books on the cultivation of roses. It is thought that the name Rose is a short form of a Germanic name which contained the word. Roses are emblems of England and New York City, it is thought the name rose has Germanic origins.
Shamrock (good luck – the luck of the Irish – lightheartedness – good fortune)
The shamrock is a symbol of the Republic of Ireland, and symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day, with its traditional celebration on 17th March. In Victorian times it was used for its medicinal properties, it was also displayed in homes for luck.
Snapdragon Flower Symbolism
The flower symbolism associated with snapdragons is graciousness and strength. The snapdragon is important as a model organism in botanical research, its genome has been studied in detail. The name literally means “like a nose” in Ancient Greek. Snapdragons are perennials that do best in full or partial sun.
Sunflower – (adoration – haughtiness)
Sunflowers belong to the genus helianthus (a reference to the sun god, Helios) they turn their heads to the sun, the origin of their name. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and are the state flower of Kansas, when cultivated they can reach a height of twenty feet, and is known as one of the fastest growing plants in the world.
Sweet Pea – (bliss – pleasure – farewell – adieu – leaving – thank you)
Sweet peas were the emblem for Edwardian England, and were an extremely popular flower in the late 1800s. As sweet peas are associated with the month of April they are a lovely gift for someone who’s birthday falls in this month.
Tulip – (fame – perfect love) – (the national symbol of Holland) – (in Latin “tulipa”)
Red tulips mean “believe me,” and they are a declaration of love, variegated tulips mean “you have beautiful eyes.” Cream tulips mean “I will love you forever.”
Verbena – (sensibility – prayer) )(native to the American continent and Europe
Healers have been using Verbena in potions and tonics for centuries, it is most often used as a tea. It is grown as a honey plant, supplying bees with nectar. Verbena has been used by apothecaries and healers, verbena is also used as a protection against vampires.
Violet – (faithfulness – happiness – love – virtue – modesty – loving watchfulness) – derived from the Latin word “viola” meaning (“violet colour”) of (“violet flower”).
The beautiful violet is often used in cooking and works especially well as a chocolate filling, or for toppings, and delectable desserts are made using essence of violet flowers. The violet flower is often used for decorating the dinner table because of its vivid colouring.
Wisteria – (named after the eighteenth century Philadelphia physician, Caspar Wistar), meaning – (spontaneity – welcoming – playfulness)
Wisteria is named the “Purple Vine” in China, the petals shade from the strong dark purple tip, to the light pink at the open base. Any support is suitable for the steadily climbing Wisteria vines that wind themselves either clockwise or counter clockwise.
Zinnia – (Named after the German botanist Johann Zinn), meaning – affection -constancy – goodness – remembrance – friendship.
Zinnias were discovered in the early 1500s in the Mexican wilderness, because of their unattractive appearance, their Aztec name meant “eyesore.” They are the state flower of Indiana. After the zinnia went through a metamorphosis, the name Cinderella was often used.
In the 1930s a young Harley Street doctor, named Edward Bach, gave up his lucrative practice as a physician, in order to follow and apply the teachings of Paracelsus, who was a magician with herbs and plants. Edward Bach was committed to finding a way of healing that was gentle, pain free, natural and would restore mind and body.
Bach searched the English countryside and the mountains of Wales, certain he would find wildflowers that contained the secret ingredients to heal mind, body and spirit. He believed it was a person’s state of mind that caused illness, by disturbing the natural balance of tissues and organs. Bach believed that by using plants and flowers with high vibrations, the lowered vibrations of the individual would be lifted, thus restoring balance and health. He said, “Herbal remedies have the power to elevate our vibrations, and draw down spiritual power, which cleanses mind and body, and heals.” With his exceptional understanding, Bach was able to touch any plant and feel the power and vibrations it emitted. He then grouped the plants according to the type of healing they were offering, whether it be to ease the pain of a headache, an injury or to restore vitality or as an aid for nausea or tiredness. He chose the plants for their mental, physical and spiritual, healing properties.
Edward Bach produced thirty eight remedies and wrote about his work, so that people would understand what flower remedy to use for their ailment. Individuals around the world attested to the efficacy of his natural remedies, and Bach flower remedies are still used worldwide.