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Dandelion Flowers

The dandelion flower is recognizable to just about everyone. This is due to the fact that although these small plants are native to Europe and Asia, at least two of their species can be found growing wild all around the world. The dandelion flower is a member of the asteraceae family and, as is common with other members of this line, has a single head that is composed of several smaller, yellow ray flowers. The foliage for this flower is generally lobed, dark green and hairless. The distinctive lance shape of the leaves were the inspiration for its name – the Old French dent-de-lion, which means lion’s tooth. The stems of these flowers are hollow and, when broken, seep a thick, faintly white sap.

Since the entire dandelion flower is perfectly edible, many people over time have used this plant for both culinary and medicinal purposes. When dried and steeped in hot water, these flowers can make a superb diuretic, and are also thought to help in eliminating kidney stones. The milky sap is considered very effective with skin conditions, and can aid in diminishing warts. The flower heads can be eaten uncooked in salads or mixed with vegetables, and the roots may be dried and brewed as a substitute for coffee. There are also many myths and superstitions surrounding the dandelion flower. Two contradictory superstitions state that if you blow on the dried flower ball, the number of seeds that remain can either tell you how many children you will have, or how many more years you will live. If all of the seeds come off, however, you will be granted a wish. In folk myths, the dandelion has been used to tell time and predict the weather. In these stories, the number of times it takes you to blow away all of the seeds from a single flower is the exact hour of the day. The weather, on the other hand, is dependent upon whether or not the head of the flower opens in the morning.

As a symbol, the dandelion flower is the ultimate emblem for persistence and a strong will. It is also thought to represent wishes coming true, cheerful love, and general happiness. As a gift, these small, delicate flowers are certainly unique. Although uncommon, it is possible to give these to someone as a potted plant; however, they are best given freshly clipped and presented as a single yellow flower, so as to represent a sweet, innocent affection; or in its more downy form, encouraging the recipient to make a wish.

Dandelion Flower Pictures

Dahlia Flowers

The dahlia flower – named after the 18th century botanist Anders Dahl – is from the genus asteraceae and has more than 30 species within its family. Dahlias are native mostly to Mexico, but actually grow best in cooler temperatures with regular moisture in the soil. These remarkable flowers can range in size, shape and color. The plants themselves can start out at a moderate 12 inches tall, while other variations may grow several feet in height. The flowers are quite the same, beginning at a very petite 1 inch around, all the way to, roughly, the size of a dinner plate. As for color, the dahlia flower has a vast array of hues that can range from bronze, to white, to purple. However, many dahlias may also be bi colored, variegated, or separated into classifications of light or dark blends – the light blend being multiple shades of faint pastels, the dark blend being more muted.

Over time, people have attempted to use dahlia flowers for a variety things. For instance, in 1929 a herbal script that was written in Latin, and was dated as far back as 1550 was discovered. This script recommended the usage of the dahlia flower for the easing of symptoms of epilepsy. In Europe in the 1880s, when disease had ravaged potato crops, an attempt was made to use the tubers of the dahlia as a supplemental food supply. However, as time passed, it was found that, although perfectly edible, these plants were better used for decorative purposes. Today, dahlias are prized solely for their beauty. This is best noted in one of the many competitions and shows that can be found mostly within the United States and Canada. These are often held by dahlia growing societies, which advocate and encourage avid gardeners to grow these spectacular blossoms.

As a symbol, the dahlia flower can offer a great deal of meaning. In general, they are thought to symbolize dignity and elegance, but they are also thought to express an eternal bond between two people. Many people prefer to give dahlia flowers as anniversary gifts, as these flowers are also an emblem for the 14th year of marriage. They also make great gifts for high-profile weddings and even engagement parties, as they not only represent dignity, but a wish that the couple remains strong throughout their years together.

Dahlia Flower Pictures

Hydrangea Flowers

Hydrangea flowers come from the genus hydrangeaceae, which has between 70 to 75 species in its family. These flowers are native to both eastern and southern Asia, as well as north America. Hydrangeas grow in early spring and continue to blossom well into late fall. They are generally white in color; however, depending upon the soil in which they are raised, they may be blue, red, pink, or light or dark purple. Hydrangea plants are opposite leaved vines and shrubs that reach between 3 to 8 feet, and burst forth with either “mophead’ flowers (which are said to resemble pom-poms), or “lacecap” flowers. Although each species can differ slightly, most hydrangea flowers grow best in moist, well drained soil, and a faint amount of shade.

The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydro” and “angeion,” which roughly translates into water vessel; it is thought that the name was given solely for the shape of the flower’s seed capsules. Despite the fact that hydrangea flowers can be mildly poisonous when consumed, many people still use these particular flowers in herbal cigarettes, in teas, and as medicinal concoctions. Hydrangea syrup has long been used to help in soothing irritation caused by bladder stones, as well as working as a natural diuretic. The tea made from this flower is brewed not only for its sweet flavor, but also as a ceremonial bath which is done on the 8th of April – the birthday of Buddha – in Japan. Some people like to use hydrangea flowers for arts and crafts. This is usually done by clipping the flowers while they are ripe and letting them dry. After they have dried out completely (and changed colors to a creamy white, mauve, or even lilac purple), they can be placed into wreaths, used to decorate walls or door frames, or scented and turned into potpourri.

Hydrangea flowers have more recently become a big part of wedding ceremonies. The “mophead” variety is commonly placed within bouquets – sometimes held by the bride, at other times by the wedding party. Alternatively, these flowers can be sent to those who attended or were part of a wedding, as they can symbolize gratitude and a heartfelt emotion. These particular flowers sent either potted or as a bouquet can make a great thank you gift for any occasion.

Hydrangea Flower Pictures

Mustard Flowers

The mustard flower is one of the more elusive blossoms that you will come across. This is due largely to the fact that these plants are highly edible, and are often harvested before the flowers themselves can bloom. A member of the Brassicaceae family, the mustard flower is closely related to cabbage, turnips, and even bok choy. Mustard flowers tend to grow abundantly in mid-spring. If left unattended these plants can grow wildly, can be invasive, and are frequently mistaken for weeds. Despite that fact, these tiny flowers are thought by many to be quite beautiful. They can be seen in a mild white, or deep yellow shade and are considered to be one of the few easily identifiable blossoms around. The mustard flower almost invariably has exactly four petals and six stamens – two of which are shorter than the remaining four – on each flower.

In Japan, the mustard flower is celebrated as a simple symbol of the beginning of spring. It is also planted in the fields of Yokohama and crafted into large mazes. In the United States, mustard blossoms often grow wild. One piece of historic trivia indicates that this is due to Spanish soldiers marking their trail throughout the country by scattering the seeds of this particular flower. In Napa Valley a similar story is told of missionaries creating a trail of seeds between Missions so that when the winter ended and the mustard flower began to bloom, they could trace their way back to where they came from. Despite their interesting appearance and fascinating history, mustard flowers are, of course, best known for its edible qualities. In Roman times, mustard flowers were considered an aphrodisiac, and were frequently mixed into love potions. Today, however, the seeds of this flower are mostly crushed and mixed with vinegar to create the spicy, fragrant condiment used in a variety of dishes.

Mustard flowers can make for a very unique gift. These small, pretty flowers are often thought to be a symbol of spring and abundance, and thus would make a great gift for someone born during the spring months, or someone starting a family around this time. The mustard seed is also thought to have a great religious significance, as it is a representation that even the smallest amount of faith can do great things so long as it is placed in the hands of a mighty God.

Mustard Flower Pictures

Violet Flowers

The most recognizable form of the violet flower is the garden violet. This is mainly due to its brilliant purple hue which has become the violet’s signature shade. However, due to its extensive family – an amazing 500 species in the Violaceae genus – there are a vast amount of colors available. White and cream shades are quite common; blue, yellow and even bicolored varieties may also be seen. The violet flower is native to moderate areas of the Northern Hemisphere; can either grow directly from a stem, or as a cluster from a rhizome, and grows best in a shaded area during the early spring.

The violet flower has, over time, developed an interesting and varied history. In Greek mythology violets were said to be created by the god Zeus so that his beloved Io might consume them while she was transformed into a heifer. Further Greek mythology states that violets grew from the spilled blood of Ajax; a similar story is told of the Roman god Attis. The violet flower has also become a great inspiration for art and artists alike. In Christian art the violet is considered an emblem for the Virgin Mary’s humility. In the background of Giovanni Paolo’s “Madonna of Humility” you will see a small speckling of violets, while in Da Vinci’s “Madonna Benois” you will see the Mother Mary presenting a violet to the infant Jesus. Flowers, particularly violets, were also an inspiration to composer Frederic Chopin. At the time of his death, his piano student, Jane Sterling, purchased all of the violet flowers she could find, and placed them on his grave. Today, it has become a tradition for visitors to place violets upon his grave in Paris. Aside from their obvious beauty, violets have also become well known for their usefulness. They are frequently used in perfumes, and their scent is sometimes made use of in aromatherapy to treat eczema and calm the nerves. The sweet violet is the only flower in it’s family to have medicinal properties. It can be placed into syrups, creams or teas to help treat coughs, colds and lung disorders; it can help to treat insomnia, skin conditions and digestive upsets. Violets are also considered an edible flower, and are often candied and placed on top of cakes or other pastries. The petals and leaves might also be used in salads; the flowers can be steeped and used to flavor a variety of dishes, or as simple, pretty garnishes.

Violet flowers have become a very popular gift. This is likely due to its dual nature. It is thought to be a symbol of peace, spirituality and imagination; at the same time it is a symbol for mourning and sadness. Violets can be given to encourage the recipient’s creative endeavors, or to show respect for the dead. They are also frequently given around Easter, as they are an emblem for the Passion of Christ.

Violet Flower Pictures

Flax Flowers

Flax flowers, which are a member of the genus Linum, are grown for a variety of reasons. To start, these small, delicate flowers are prized for their stunning blue, golden and white hues. However, two of the most valued reasons for cultivation is their use as a nutritive substance, and as strong, easily manipulated clothing fibers. Originating in India, these flowers are now mostly cultivated in the United States for the commercial sale of Linseed oil. Despite its variety of uses, many people like to grow flax flowers in their garden simply for their attractive appearance. These lovely flowers are tiny, and feathery. They can grow between 12 to 18 inches and come in vivid, appealing colors that go beautifully alongside most other types of flowers.

Common flax flowers are thought to be one of the first domesticated crops. In the Republic of Georgia, dyed fibers made of flax were found in a prehistoric cave; these fibers were dated as far back as 34,000 BC. Flax cloth was also used in ancient Egypt to wrap mummies before they were entombed. The early colonists of the United States began creating flax cloth for home use, and in 1753 these resilient pieces became commercially available to households all over the country. These flowers can also produce seeds that have long been used medicinally. They are best known for their high volume of Omega 3 acids; however, they also contain a whole host of healthy vitamins and minerals including B vitamins 1, 2, 3 and 6, as well as iron and calcium – just to name a few. These seeds are thought to promote a healthy heart and lower cholesterol, fight against cancer and strokes, and help ease digestive problems. For medicinal use, they can be placed in teas and infusions, placed into capsules or used as an oil. However, you can still reap the healthy benefits by using the seeds in food. For ages people have used this as a source of filling, nutritionally rich fiber. This is still done today, but in a larger of variety of ways. For instance, they may be placed in a salad, used to make bread, or eaten with cereal.

Flax flowers would make a great housewarming gift, as these small, beautiful blossoms are considered a symbol of domestic bliss. They are also easy to transplant, and would make a great gift for an avid gardener.

Flax Flower Pictures

Calla Flowers

When people think of calla flowers they most commonly associate them with calla lilies (technically known as Zantedeschia, a tribute to the famous botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi). However, there is a species in the same family referred to Calla palustris that grows wild in the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Although these two plants are similar in appearance and are part of the same genus, this variety only has a single species and contains a cluster of red berries at its center. Calla lilies boast a slightly larger family with eight recognized species; comes in a variety of colors and patterns (from a similar white to that of Calla palustris, to a golden hue, or spotted yellow or pink); grow to roughly around 1 to 3 feet, and are native to Southern Africa.

Although both Zantedeschia and Calla palustris varieties of calla flowers are considered highly poisonous to consume, many still take their chances. The rhizome of the wild calla can be dried, ground or boiled to make it edible. The leaves of calla lilies can also be cooked before consumption; however, most people will advise you to err on the side of safety with this particular culinary art. Calla flowers have a good deal of history, starting as far back as the Romans. This particular plant has, over time, fluctuated between being an emblem of happiness, to a respectful sign of sadness. During Roman times calla lilies were planted just inside the doors of homes at the time of winter solstice. This was done to bring some well needed “light” during the dark and dreary winters. Later on, callas were associated with funerals as they are not only a symbol for peace, they are also long lasting and can withstand warmer temperatures than many other flowers. Calla flowers have returned to a more cheerful use in recent times. During 1937 in New York, one of the largest blooms ever grown was a calla lily; Georgia O’Keefe painted at least eight pieces depicting callas, and an exhibition at the Brooks Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico featured over 50 depictions of this famous flower, and around 1934 the calla lily became very popular in weddings when a photo of a South African bride displaying a bouquet of callas surfaced.

As a gift, calla flowers can be very meaningful. Although they are predominately thought of as an emblem for spiritual peace, they are also thought to represent magnificence, purity and rebirth. Callas can be given as a houseplant, in a bouquet, boutonniere, or even clipped and given as a single flower.

Calla Flower Pictures

Ginger Flowers

Most people associate the ginger flower with its edible variety; however, this particular type is only one of a large family of plants. Ginger is native to several parts of Asia, but the cultivation has also spread into parts of West Africa and the Caribbean. Although there are many types of flowers that grow from this plant, one of the most recognizable has a stem that grows roughly 12 inches above the ground with bright, ribbed leaves, and distinctive white or yellow blooms.

Though the ginger flower has long been loved for its beauty – often being used to fill out tropical gardens, and in decorative pieces such as leis – it is mostly sought after for its culinary and medicinal uses. The root of the ginger plant is a member of the same family as turmeric and cardamom, and is often used in exotic dishes because of its rich, warming properties. The use of this plant for medicinal purposes has only recently become popular. Made into teas, tinctures, and even dried and made into capsules, this spice is frequently used for digestive ailments; however, in Ayurvedic medicine, it is thought to help with a plethora health-related issues such as joint pain, decreased circulation, and a delayed menstrual cycle. Essential oils are also used for digestive upsets, treating cold or flu symptoms, and to help speed up the healing process of bruises. The ginger flower itself is often used to create exotic smelling perfumes, soaps and lotions. Depending upon the type of flower used, the scent can range from a spicy, earthy smell, to a more delicate floral odor.

Many people like to give the ginger flower as a gift. This is usually as an alternative to the standard bouquet of roses. To some, the fiery reds that many ginger flowers exhibit are an expression of passion, love, and a strong bond between lovers. The ginger flower is mostly a symbol of strength; however, whatever color you choose – from the bold red to a mellow white – can be paired with the significance of the flower itself. There are many ways to give this flower as a gift. For example, you could present it to the recipient as a garland for the neck or hair; clip a single fresh blossom, or give it as a pressed token; or simply give them a potted ginger to keep and grow for a long time to come.

Ginger Flower Pictures

Daffodil Flowers

Belonging to the genus Narcissus, the daffodil flower has at least 50 species in its family, and around 13,000 hybrid varieties. Despite the large amount of variation, all daffodils have a corona (also referred to as a “trumpet”), and a ring of petals surrounding it – often called the perianth. Daffodils are mainly yellow with a contrasting color within the corona; however, there is a plethora of hues that range from yellow and white, to pink, to an unusual lime green-like color. The daffodil flower is mostly native to Western European regions, and thrives best in moist, slightly alkaline soil under full sun or very light shade.

The daffodil flower is the country emblem for Gloucestershire, and the national flower of Wales. In the United States, the Florida Daffodil Society has dedicated themselves to identifying, planting and preserving rare and historical breeds of this flower all around the state and within southern Georgia. The passion for these small, beautiful flowers is not relegated to modern times, however. For a long period these flowers were left to grow wild and were essentially forgotten. In 1629, though, Englishmen recognized their value and began digging them up, and planting them back into their own gardens. Further back, however, daffodils were a part of a less cheerful Greek myth. This story tells of the god Narcissus who was self-centered and uninterested in his devoted nymph, Echo. Later in the story he stopped to watch his reflection in a stream; he then fell in and drowned. In remembrance of him, the gods placed Narcissus flowers upon the riverbank. On a lighter side, daffodils also appeared in the story of Persephone being swept off to Hades. When she was later resurrected, she brought with her all of the joys of spring – one of which being the daffodil flower.

As a gift, daffodil flowers can have a duel meaning. Like the god Narcissus, these flowers can be an emblem for vanity, and may give a strong message that the recipient requires a change in their demeanor. Conversely, they are seen as a symbol of rebirth. You may want to present daffodils when the recipient is in the midst of a new beginning, or even to represent the rekindling of an old love.

Daffodil Flower Pictures

Lotus Flowers

The spiritual qualities of the lotus flower has found its way into Egyptian legends, Indian culture, and even Western faith. This is not surprising as the lotus flower is a potent symbol that grows strong and beautiful from the murkiest depths. Not to be mistaken with the water lily, lotus flowers bear fruit, but produce less nectar and come in fewer colors. The roots of the lotus are deeply imbedded into the bottom of river beds or ponds, while the flowers and leaves float atop the surface of the water. This plant is also thought to be one of only a few heat producing plants, and generally maintains a temperature around 86 to 95 degrees so as to lure cold blooded pollinators.

The lotus is the national flower of both Vietnam and India. In India the lotus flower has made its way deep into religious beliefs and in national folklore. The lotus is one of the eight auspicious symbols and is considered to be a symbol for the progress of the soul through muddy materialism, all the way to bright and sunny enlightenment. In esoteric Buddhist teachings, the unopened flower is thought to be like the heart of man – blossoming only when touched by the virtues of Buddha. In Egypt the lotus can be seen in a variety of art, hieroglyphics and as general decoration. One of the legends that can be found in this area is of a giant lotus rising from watery chaos and causing the sun to rise on the first day of creation. In Christianity, the white lotus is thought to be a representation of the purity of the Virgin Mary. Aside from having a great religious and mythological significance, the lotus can also be consumed. The rhizomes can be roasted, curried, pickled or dried and used as a thickening powder. The seeds can be candied, roasted or eaten raw; the flower and stalks, on the other hand, can be prepared in any way that a regular leafy vegetable might be eaten.

Lotus flowers are full of deep meaning, beautiful and long lasting, and thus, make great gifts. Many people like to give them as wedding presents as they are one of the few flowers that bloom and produce fruit simultaneously. This is thought to be a good omen for a newly married couple, as it not only represents a continuation of the growth of their relationship, but also a growth in their family. These flowers can be given alone, or as part of bouquet. If you are giving them as a gift to someone who lives in a warm climate, has access to a garden pond and simply loves to grow things, you might also want to consider giving them either a pre-grown plant, or even a few fresh seeds.

Lotus Flower Pictures