Category: Uncategorized

Hibiscus Flowers

The hibiscus is a decorative, flowering plant that is most commonly found in warmer climates, especially tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. It is a popular landscaping shrub among gardeners and the plant is used in many cultures for such diverse purposes as herbal teas, hair products, and even paper making, but it is the ostentatious flower of the hibiscus that has made it synonymous with “delicate beauty” and a popular gift throughout the world. If you take a look at pictures of hibiscus flowers, you will notice their flowers are large and shaped like a trumpet. They include five or more petals and grow in a spectrum of colors that include yellow, purple, orange, red, pink, and white. Interestingly, just like a fine wine, hibiscus flowers improve with age, as their colors darken and become increasingly vivid.

Because hibiscus flowers grow in tropical regions, many people associate an exotic meaning with the flower. If you’ve ever seen a painting by the French post-Impressionist painter Paul Gaugin, then you likely are familiar with the Tahitian custom for native women to wear a single red hibiscus flower behind their ears. (According to Tahitian custom, the ear where a woman wears her hibiscus indicates if she is single and available for marriage or off the market.) Hibiscus flowers are also quite common throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Unsurprisingly, the hibiscus is Hawaii’s state flower. In Hawaiian culture, the hibiscus is a symbol of old royalty and communicates both power and respect. It is a common gift given to visitors, from state officials to vacationing tourists.

But, as mentioned above, the most common meaning attached to the hibiscus is “delicate beauty.” This meaning originated in England during the Victorian era when flower varieties were fewer and tropical flowers such as the hibiscus were especially rare. Because the hibiscus requires the precise weather conditions to bloom into a beautiful flower, it came to mean “delicate beauty.” Japanese culture has assigned a similar meaning to the hibiscus plant: There, it simply means “gentle.”

Hibiscus Flower Pictures

Daisy Flowers

One of the most common and popular types of flower is the daisy, which is part of the asteraceae family that also includes asters and sunflowers. (This is actually the second largest family of flowers with more than 1,600 genera and upwards of 23,000 species, including the common daisy, the African daisy, the painted daisy, the crown daisy, and the marguerite daisy.) It is believed that the flower’s name came from a combination of the words “day’s eye,” because the head of the daisy, unlike many flowers, closes completely at night and reopens in the morning.

The meanings associated with daises are all positive and include purity and innocence. Because they are commonly occurring flowers (daisies can grow practically anywhere, but do best in temperate climates), most of us have memories from childhood of picking daisies for bouquets or making daisy chains to wear as necklaces and crowns. For this reason, they are commonly linked to memories of youth and the innocent feelings of young love.

In addition to being a popular decorative plant among gardeners, daisies are incredibly popular as cut flowers, as well. (When giving fresh flowers as gifts, only roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and tulips are more popular.) In particular, gerbera daisies make a great bouquet, especially when trying to communicate pure, innocent love. Gerbera daisies grow in a wide range of colors, including pink, red, orange, yellow, blue, and white. Some daisies of this species even boast petals of multiple colors, black centers, and brightly colored markings on the tips of its florets. For this reason, gerbera daisies are especially popular among birds, bees, and butterflies, which are attracted to their vibrant appearance. Speaking of the birds and the bees, if they love gerbera daisies, imagine how much your sweetheart will appreciate a beautiful bouquet of these flowers!

Daisy Flower Pictures

Lily Flowers

The lilium family contains more than 110 species of lily, an herbaceous flowering plant that can be found in a wide ranging palette of colors, including a spectrum of whites, oranges, yellows, reds, purples, and pinks, and with distinct markings that resemble picotees, spots, and painterly brushstrokes. Lilies are delicate flowers with six tepals and an elegant, aromatic fragrance. Its most popular species include the Tiger lily, the Calla lily, the Madonna lily, Stargazer lily, Easter lily, and Morning Star lily. They are popular as showy garden plants and their bulbs can be eaten as root vegetables (though, in spite of a taste and texture that resembles a potato, they can be quite bitter). However, their beautiful flower, which only blossoms in summer, has led to the lily taking on an important cultural role, capable of expressing a wide range of sentiments when given as a gift. For instance, the lily is the May birth flower as well as the flower used to commemorate a couple’s 30th wedding anniversary. (The lily of the valley, as a symbol of devotion and humility, memorializes a couple’s second wedding anniversary.)

But the most common association with lilies is as a gift at funerals, given to express compassion and sorrow for a deceased loved one. White lilies, in particular, signify sympathy and grief as well as chastity and virtue. When given for a funeral, they extend your condolences to the family and communicate both sadness for the loss, but also the restoration of the deceased to a state of purity and innocence. That spiritual element has long been a part of the lily’s cultural significance. The ancient Greeks believed that the white Madonna lily grew directly from the milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In light of that story, lilies can be seen as a representation of humanity’s connection to the divine and how all life springs from that source. In modern times, those meanings are all present in a gift of lilies, making it an appropriate choice when honoring the memory of the dearly departed.

Lily Flower Pictures

Rose Flowers

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” – Gertrude Stein

Although there are more than 100 species of roses, what most often comes to mind when we think of this flower is the red English rose. With its gorgeous flower made of alternately shaped, pinnate leaves and its seductive fragrance, it has become an immortal symbol for beauty and love. Ancient Greeks and Romans connected the flower to their gods of love and beauty. Poets, from William Shakespeare to Robert Burns, have used the rose as a device to describe their beloveds. And, originating in ancient Persia, the crushed petals of the flower have been used to create perfume for its sweet, floral scent.

Still, there is a great deal of nuance and etiquette associated with giving cut roses as a gift. The number of roses in a bouquet and the color of the flower can send very different messages. Certainly, if the bouquet is intended to express love and passionate desire, red roses, as are commonly given on Valentine’s Day, is the first choice. But how many should be given? A single, blooming red rose simply means “I love you” or perhaps “love at first sight.” A bouquet of two roses symbolizes the union of the two lovers, expressing mutual feelings and satisfaction with being together. Six roses often stands for the hardship of being apart; when you miss someone and hope to be reunited with your other half, you give your beloved half a dozen roses. A full dozen, then, is an invitation to love, meaning “be mine” as the common Valentine’s Day refrain goes. A bouquet of 50 roses stands for unconditional love.

Giving roses in other colors, however, is usually an expression of platonic love, friendship, and support. For example, a bouquet of yellow roses is a way to communicate loyalty and friendship. (Although, some believe that the gift of yellow roses actually expresses jealousy.) Dark crimson roses, on the other hand, are often used to signify mourning and therefore are appropriate gifts for the families of departed loved ones.

Rose Flower Pictures