A few interesting things about spring flowers you may not know.
Ok, so it isn’t quite spring yet, but we are so nearly there, and I know we have all been spotting those daffodils coming up!
Here are some fun facts and legends about a few of my favourite spring blooms.
Botanical name: Anemone
The name Anemone derives from Greek, it means ‘wind flower’ which signifies the wind that blows the petals open, will in turn, blow the dead petals away.
Although it is poisonous, it has been used to treat cramps and menstrual problems.
In the Greek myth of Aphrodite and her mortal love Adonis, the anemone flower is said to have grown from the ground where her tears and his blood touched the earth after he was killed.
Botanical name: Tulipa
Although Holland is famed for its tulips, they actually originated in Turkey, and were first cultivated as early as 1000 AD.
It wasn’t until the 16th century that they were introduced to Europe and the Netherlands, where they started to create huge fields of tulips.
Tulips were once the most expensive flower you could purchase. During the 17th century in Holland, tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold. This was known as ‘tulip mania’ and was due to an infection of tulip bulbs of the ‘tulip breaking virus’ which created variegated patterns in the petals, these patterns were much admired, making them very desirable.
Cut tulips continue to grow in your vase at least another inch.
Botanical name: Rananculus asiaticus
The name comes from the Latin words; Rana meaning ‘frog’ and Unculus meaning ‘little’ as it was often found near water.
It is the same family as the buttercup that we all used to pick and put under one another’s chins as children, while asking ‘do you like butter?’
The soft buttery petals contain mirror flat cells, which mean they bounce back light via an air gap between them, and actually reflect uv light.
Buttercups are poisonous, and most animals will graze around it.
The national flower of Wales, but originated in Southern Europe and North Africa. The Romans brought daffodils to Britain, believing that the sap from them had healing powers.
They are in fact poisonous, and it is this sap that can often damage other flowers. So if you want to place them in a vase with other flowers, then first give them a drink in their own water for 24 hours.
The poison can get on your hands too, so always wash your hands after handling cut daffodils, to avoid the ‘daffodil itch’.
There is a Greek myth about Narcissus, who became obsessed with his own reflection in water, so much so, that he drowned in the water, and the narcissus flower grew from where he died.