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Lavender Flowers

The lavender flower is considered by many gardeners to be one of the more exciting plants to grow. With 39 species within its family, and a variety of sizes, shapes and even colors, this is quite understandable. Despite the available variety, English lavender is by far the most recognizable. In warm climates the shrubs that produce these flowers are evergreen, can reach the size of three feet in height and equal to or double its height in width. The flowers themselves are small, light purple, and grow from spiked stems.

Over time the use of the lavender flower has expanded. One of its most recognizable incarnations is, of course, within the cosmetics industry. Although the sweet, calming scent of lavender is sought after for its uses in perfumes, body sprays and soaps, it is also thought to work wonders for people with troubled skin. This flower is said to stimulate cell growth, heal acne and prevent scars, and cut down on inflammation. The lavender flower may also be used in face washes, as it is thought to have potent antibacterial properties, and may also help balance the skin of the face. Lavender is also frequently used for cooking; one of the most obvious examples of this would be honey. The nectar from a lavender flower can help to create an uniquely flavored monofloral honey that is predominantly produced in the Mediterranean. Some people like to add dried lavender to spice their meat dishes, tossed in a salad, or even baked into sweet desserts and frozen treats. This flower is also occasionally candied, blended with a variety of herbal teas, or even added to milk so as to give it a gently sweet, floral flavor.

Giving lavender as a gift can be a creative experience. Given the varying shades of purples and pinks, you might be able to create a large bouquet of flamboyantly colored flowers. Each shade tends to indicate something different, and this might also lend to your creativity. For instance, a “floral” or “true” lavender hue is thought to be a symbol of decadence. For this you might create a gift basket with the potted flower, perhaps some floral scented body oils, and maybe even some chocolate or pastries with lavender baked right into them. In general, though, lavenders are thought to be a symbol of devotion, and there would be nothing sweeter than giving the gift of a simple lavender flower by itself.

Lavender Flower Pictures

Carnation Flowers

carnation

Carnations – lovingly referred to as “Pinks” – have been extensively cultivated for over 2,000 years, and are thought to be a native plant of the Mediterranean. It is not surprising that the carnation flower has been around such a long time, as it is well loved for its large, bright blossoms, ease of growth and thick stems that survive long after being cut.

The carnation flower has a lot history and symbolism that has grown up around it in the past 2,000 years. These flowers are frequently worn on special occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day (due largely to the fact that pink carnations are a symbol of a mother’s undying love), first anniversaries and weddings. The carnation flower has also found its way into literature, art and religion. Oscar Wilde was known for wearing a green carnation at all times; Rembrandt used a single carnation in his portrait, “Woman with a Pink,” to express the feeling of passionate ardor that these flowers represented; “Madonna of the Carnation” by Albrecht Durer, and “Madonna of the Pinks” both depict the Virgin Mary presenting a carnation flower to the baby Jesus to represent a mother’s love and purity. These two portraits were also illustrative symbols expressing the belief that carnations were a flesh made from God. Carnations are sometimes even used to tell the fortune of young girls in Korea. Three of the bright blooms are placed in the girl’s hair – if the bottom flower wilts first, her life will be generally difficult. If the top or bottom wilts, either her early or late life will be troublesome.

Despite a few rather dour symbols, carnations are generally thought to be a cheerful and loving emblem that make fantastic gifts. There are many ways to present this flower. For example, you can give them as a potted plant (most people choose the miniature carnation flower for this style), in a bouquet, as a boutonniere, or corsage. A slightly more unique idea would be to create a wreath of these flowers. One of the great things about carnations is that they can easily be dyed, so your wreath can have a whole rainbow of color that is either deeply meaningful or simply stunning to see.

Carnation Flower Pictures

Heather Flowers

Culluna vulgaris, better known as a common heather, is a perennial shrub. The heather flower blooms some time in late summer, ranges in color from white, pink, purple and red, and can survive in some very harsh territory. This plant can survive acidic, sandy and generally poor soil conditions, and can even withstand the grazing of animals. This fact is largely to do with both its general hardiness, and the prolific nature which causes it to produce up to 30 seeds per flower.

Heather flowers make for a beautiful plant both indoors and out; however, they are not merely a showpiece blossom. The heather flower has long been used as a food source for a variety of wildlife. It has also been used to cultivate an uniquely flavored honey which is greatly prized in the heathland and moorland regions. The use of heather is thought to have a curative effect on nerves, mental strain, digestive and respiratory functions. This is done by using the flowers themselves to mash into balms, or infusing them with water to make a warm, tea-like infusion. The heather flower was also used in place of hops in ales and beer in the Middle Ages. This is still true today, and you may even find a few recipes to create your own. However, commercially released ales made with the heather flower are few and are strictly regulated to insure safety.

Although most flowers can be used in a variety ways when they are given as a gift, few can match the versatility of the heather flower. The branches of the shrub can be woven and turned into baskets or decorative wall hangings – the flowers themselves can be dried and attached to these pieces. Heather is considered by some to be an emblem of good luck and protection, so talismans may be made from fresh or dried flowers. The flowers can also be pressed behind small glass trinkets and placed on a chain for a more modern take on the talisman theme. But, of course, nothing beats a fresh flower. Heathers can be given either clipped or potted, and each color can represent something different. For instance, you might give the traditional purple heather to express admiration for the recipient; pink to wish them luck, or a simple white heather to protect them from harm.

Heather Flower Pictures

Jasmine Flowers

The jasmine flower is grown from a line of shrubbery and vines that are closely related to the olive family. Although there are about 200 different species of this flower, three of the most common consist of the white, yellow and Japanese varieties. These plants can grow up to 15 feet in their life span, and most of the vine varieties are considered healthy ‘climbers.’ These vines can grow onto other plants or be trained to grow through picket fences, shrubs, or around artfully arranged pieces of chicken wire. Many people grow these plants for their brilliant green leaves as well as for their soft, delicately colored flowers. The leaves themselves – which can either be deciduous or evergreen – are often round, intensely colored and shiny in appearance.

The jasmine flower has been used for ages in a variety of ways. Not only is this flower considered a beautiful plant to keep in the garden, it is also frequently used to adorn woman’s hair and clothing. They have been used to scent green tea leaves; to create delightfully floral pastries, and the scent can be extracted to create essential oils with both healing and aphrodisiac-like properties. The essential oil created from the jasmine flower is said to be an anti-depressant, anti-septic, and a calming sedative. It is also used either by itself or with other notes to create soft, sensuous perfumes that have been favored by women around the world for centuries. The jasmine flower is also widely loved for its strong cultural ties. These blossoms are the national symbol for the Philippines – known there as “Sampaguita” — and Indonesia, where it is known as “Melati.” These flowers are often used as vital elements to both wedding and religious ceremonies.

As a gift, jasmine flowers can be given in a variety of ways, and hold a variety of meanings. In China the jasmine flower is considered the ideal emblem for feminine kindness. In other areas these flowers are thought to indicate grace and delicacy, as well as sensuality and cheerfulness. They are thought to attract wealth and romantic attachments. They make great gifts for those you have a special fondness for; someone who enjoys rich floral fragrances, or even someone who is something of a night owl, as some varieties of this flower tend to open up and show their full beauty late at night. These flowers can easily be given as indoor plants, ready to be planted into the recipient’s own garden, or simply clipped and placed into a fresh bouquet.

Jasmine Flower Pictures

Iris Flowers

Although the Bearded and Siberian variety of iris are among the most popular, there are between 200 to 300 species of this resplendent bloom. The iris flower can be translated into the Greek word for rainbow. This flower’s Goddess namesake was considered the embodiment of a rainbow – a colorful connection between the heavens and earth. Many people feel that the Goddess and flower share their name due to the vast array of hues that they shared. The iris flower can range in color from a crisp white to a rich burgundy. These ornamental flowers – which blossom from long, firm stems that may be either flat or lightly branched – are also considered to be very hearty, and can grow in a variety of landscapes and temperatures.

The history of the iris flower seems to go very far back. In addition to being the personification of color, the Greek Goddess Iris was also thought to be the messenger of love. The flowers themselves have since served as one of the many symbols of this particular emotion. These flowers have also found their way into a variety of art and architecture. For example, they have been carved into stones in Egypt; in 1987 Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Irises’ set a record by becoming one of the most sought after and expensive paintings ever sold. As well as creating an artistic flair, the iris flower is connected with everything from the French monarchy – as well as being the emblem for New Orleans – by way of the Fleur-de-lis, to folk remedies, to cosmetics and even enhancing the flavor of wines. In small doses this flower is said to help cure glandular problems, skin discoloration, and some chronic diseases. It has also long been used to create perfumes, linens sprays and skin creams.

As with any of the more colorful variety of flowers, each hue of the iris bloom has its own particular meaning. When giving these flowers as a gift, it is always nice to know what message you may be conveying. Unlike roses or similar flowers, yellow irises are considered a sign of passion; a blue or purple iris can denote royalty and wisdom; white, purity and kindness. These flowers are also great gifts for those who were born in February, or those who are celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary as these are a symbol for both occasions. Since presentation is very important, it is good to know that these beautiful yet tough flowers can either be clipped and presented in a fresh bouquet, or given as potted plant that can be kept for years to come.

Iris Flower Pictures

Perennial Flowers

Perennial flowers have widely become a staple in the gardens of some of the most avid growers. The reason that these beautiful blossoms have become so popular is due largely to their permanence, reliability, and their ability to fill out and add color to shrubs and other greenery in the garden. Another reason for their popularity is because of the wide variety that they offer. Each gardener will grow their perennial flowers based on the amount of sun available on a daily basis, where they can grow their flowers, and the type of soil they have to work with. For instance, lavender grows well in full sun and dry soil, while foxglove thrives best in partially shaded areas in moist soil.

Perennial flowers have a long history in both real life and in myth. One great example of the perennial flower’s history is althaea officinalis (better known as marshmallow flowers). These delicate, light pink flowers are often grown solely for their subtle beauty and surprising heartiness; however, marshmallow perennials have been used in foods and in medicinal supplements going as far back as the ancient Romans, who frequently used the flower to repel pesky insects. Over time it has been used to feed people in times of crop failure, and used to cure anything from lung ailments to bee stings.

Variety is also the key word when it comes to giving perennial flowers as gifts. Not only can these flowers be beautiful on their own, but they also make for a great accompaniment to a featured flower such as roses or tulips. You can also convey an array of unique and meaningful messages by creating a bouquet of nearly any group of perennials. For instance, you might combine primrose with yarrow to signify a love that you will always courageously protect. A combination of anemones with day lilies can be sent to someone in the hospital to encourage them to forget their worries and get well soon. This combination can also be sent to an expectant mother as a wish for the healthy birth of a strong baby boy. Single flowers may also be presented as gifts. These often represent a strong feeling of love or happiness such as with poppy and crocus flowers, or even things like victory or foolishness, as is the case with nasturtium and columbine flowers.

Perennial Flower Pictures

Pansy Flower

The pansy (also known as the pansy violet, Johnny-jump-up, and heartsease) is a hybrid plant, cultivated as a garden flower in England during the late 1830s. Because it is a genetic hybrid, the pansy has been modified by horticulturalists to grow in every imaginable color, including purple, violet, red, yellow, gold, orange, white, and even black. Some pansies feature large, smudged markings on the “face” of the flower. While the pansy cannot be identified by its color, its flower is easily identifiable. When looking at pictures of pansies, you’ll notice it is always a round flower with overlapping petals: two top petals, two side petals, and a fifth bottom petal that almost always features a slight indentation. Although pansies are biennials (that, more often, behave like annuals), they are a surprisingly hearty flower. They do best when they only receive partial sun and avoid too much direct exposure to heat, but they can also endure light freezes or even survive through a short period of snow cover.

Since its initial cultivation, the pansy has been an especially vibrant symbol in arts and culture. Its round flower, which vaguely resembles a human face, has come to represent thoughtfulness or, more specifically, free thought and loving thoughts. In fact, the flower derives its name from the French word “pensée,” which literally translates to thought. In August, the flower of the pansy leans forward, suggesting a person lost in contemplation. Of course, nothing consumes a person’s thoughts quite like love. Perhaps this is why William Shakespeare chose to use a concoction of pansy juice as a love potion in his play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Today, a gift of pansies expresses that the beloved is always on one’s mind or, more feverishly, that the beloved is all the lover can think about. If you are looking for a “thoughtful” bouquet to let your sweetheart know that he or she is consuming all of your waking thoughts, pansies are the perfect flower.

Pansy Flower Pictures

Lilac Flowers

If you live in a temperate zone, take a look around at nearby parks and gardens. Chances are you’ll encounter lilacs, a very popular deciduous shrub or small tree, whose beautiful and often fragrant purple flowers have long made it a welcome addition to any landscape. With approximately 25 species, the lilac is a member of the olive family and is native to Europe and Asia. But the plant has taken root—literally as well as in the hearts of flower enthusiasts—throughout North America. Both New Hampshire and Idaho have claimed the lilac as their state flower.

When looking at pictures of lilacs, the most distinctive feature of the flower is that its blossoms grow in panicles—dense clusters of flowers that cling to the branch. Although the flower’s name indicates the most common color of the flower—a soft shade of purple or violet—the lilac also grows in pink, white, pale yellow, and a bold burgundy.

Culturally, the lilac carries strong associations with the rebirth symbolized in springtime. In Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Cyprus, and Lebanon, the lilac is closely tied to Easter and is used as part of religious observances there. Perhaps this is why, according to the language of flowers, the lilac is often given as an expression of new love or young love—it is an emblem of the springtime of life, when young lovers discover the excitement of romance. According to tradition, a gift of purple lilacs communicates the first emotion of love. That is, it is an appropriate gift for a beloved who has suddenly captured the lover’s heart. White lilacs, on the other hand, signal youthful innocence, making it an appropriate gift for honoring a chaste romance. Of course, with their lovely, clustered blossoms and perfumed fragrance, the gift of a bouquet of fresh, cut lilacs is welcome for nearly any occasion.

Lilac Flower Pictures

Tulip Flowers

Although tulips, along with windmills and wooden shoes, are closely associated with Holland, these beautiful cup-shaped flowers are actually indigenous to the mountainous areas of Central Asia and the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. In fact, the name “tulip” comes from an Ottoman Turk word meaning “muslin, gauze,” which almost certainly refers to the silky feel of the tulip’s petals. Tulips, which yield only one flower per stem, have been synonymous with beauty in Turkey for centuries and have been a subject of Persian poets since the thirteenth century. It’s easy to see why when you look at pictures of tulips. These vibrantly colored flowers can be found in single colors—often vivid yellow, red, or white—or in variegated, multi-colored forms, such as red or purple on yellow, lavender on white, or pink or red on white. Some even bear licking, flame-like marks.

Tulips have been wildly popular in Western culture, ever since they were introduced in Europe. Without a doubt, the most famous illustration of tulips’ popularity was the brief period of so-called tulip mania in Holland during the Dutch Golden Age (ca. 1634-1637). At this time, tulips had been recently introduced and quickly became important symbols of status—to the point that tulip bulbs were used as currency! At the height of this frenzy, a tulip contract was valued at more than ten times the annual wages of a highly skilled craftsman! Of course, this period of inflated value quickly ended after a few years. (Interestingly, tulip mania is widely considered to be the first “economic bubble.”)

If tulips are no longer considered quite as precious as they were for the few years that constituted tulip mania, they are still among the most popular flowers to give as an expression of love, whether as a potted plant or fresh, cut flowers. Culturally, a gift of tulips communicates a sentiment of “perfect love.” Still, the color of tulips can change that meaning somewhat, so if you’re looking for the perfect bouquet, you’ll want to be mindful of what the various colors mean. Unsurprisingly, red tulips are most closely associated with romantic love. Yellow tulips used to mean unrequited love, but, over the years, they have come to more closely express happiness, sunshine, and warmth. White tulips are often given as an apology to invite forgiveness from a beloved. Finally, multi-color tulips tell your sweetheart that he or she has beautiful eyes.

Tulip Flower Pictures

Orchid Flowers

With more than 22,000 known species (and roughly 800 more discovered each year), the orchid is the largest family of flowering plants. It is a cosmopolitan flower, capable of growing nearly anywhere, from deserts to glaciers. However, this elegant flower is most commonly found in tropical regions, such as Central and South America as well as throughout Asia.

Because there are so many varieties of orchids, you’ll notice many different features when looking at pictures of orchids. Still, some common traits emerge, including bilateral symmetry and, most obviously, the presence of a single modified petal, called the “labellum.” Apart from that, orchids can take on any number of appearances, including bright purple, red, orange, white with lavender touches, or mottled colorations that resemble flames or brushstrokes. Some orchid flowers feature the evolutionary perk of being shaped like the insects that pollinate them. Since there are thousands of unique varieties, orchids are hungrily collected and cultivated by enthusiasts around the globe. Of course, orchids are also used in many cultures for practical purposes—not just admiring their delicate beauty. For instance, orchids are used to produce vanilla, scents for perfume, and, in Turkey, flavoring for ice cream and a hot traditional beverage called “salep.”

But it is the orchid’s fragile beauty and exotic allure that have made the flower a popular gift, as a potted plant and as fresh, cut flowers. What do orchids mean, when given as a gift? These flowers carry many meanings, but the strongest associations are love, beauty, wealth, and strength. A quick look at the cultural history of the flower explains why. The ancient Greeks saw the orchid as an emblem of virility, while the flower became known as a signifier of social clout and opulence in Victorian England. And from the ancient Aztecs up to modern China, cultures valued the orchid for its medicinal purposes, viewing it as a restorative and healing entity. Taken together, one can see how the orchid has accrued its meanings: It is a rare, elegant, and cherished not only for its beauty, but also as a symbol of strength and prosperity. As such, the gift of an orchid is an appropriate gift for all occasions.

Orchid Flower Pictures