Sweet Williams Flowers

Sweet Williams flowers are a single species in the large, 300 species genus of dianthus, which is a member of the caryophyllaceae family. They are mostly native to southern Europe, but one variety also grows in abundance in areas of northeastern Asia. These plants may either be short-lived perennials, or herbaceous biennial plants which bloom during late winter and early spring. Their leaves are long and tapered, and may be either a traditional green or glaucous shade. The flowers themselves develop in large, easy to care for clusters which may appear with a single or double head, and are made up of about five serrated petals. The reason why many gardeners find these plants to be so special is the fact that, other than having a variety of colors to chose from, they also come in a variety of patterns. Many of these blossoms are bicolored and some may appear to have noticeable “eyes.”

Sweet Williams flowers are at the center of many romantic legends. One such legend is steeped in the poetry of the English writer John Gay, who wrote, “Sweet William’s Farewell to Black-ey’d Susan: A Ballad.” In this piece of poetry, both the sweet William and the black eyed Susan were depicted as real people – sweet William as a sailor, and the black eyed Susan as his beloved, who must part from him. The story tells of the two meeting, then having to separate again – sweet William assuring his love and fidelity all the while. Aside from having some artistic acclaim, sweet Williams flowers are also thought to be very useful in the culinary arts. These blossoms, which have a mild, clove-like taste, are mostly used as garnishes for cakes, pastries and drinks; however, they are also known to add a unique dash of flavor to salads, floral liquors, jellies and butters, as well as herbal tea.

Sweet Williams flowers are one of the few blossoms that have symbols that most people associate with masculinity – their predominant symbol being that of gallantry. However, they also represent finesse and perfection, and are frequently presented to the recipient as a way to tell him or her that the giver feels they are either quite smooth, or simply as good as it gets. They also express the sentiment, “grant me a single smile,” and are sometimes given as gifts solely to make the recipient’s day. Many people prefer to give this plant in a pot, so that the recipient might keep it for a long time to come; however, these blooms make excellent cut flowers that can last up to a week in cool, dry areas.

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