10 Amazing Facts About Flowers
As a florists I love flowers, the different shapes, the endless variety of colour and of course their gorgeous scent, but that is not the whole story when it comes to flowers.
Here are a few interesting facts that you may or may not already know .
1 Gerberas can HELP YOU SLEEP
Placing gerbera daisies next to your bed can help you sleep better. Gerberas emit oxygen and absorb carbon monoxide and toxins at night. It is said to be especially helpful for anyone suffering from sleep apnea or allergies.
2 Floating Sunflowers
Before modern materials were available the pith from dried sunflower stems were used as filling in life jackets due to their amazing buoyancy, Floating sunflower rafts have been used to clean up water contamination from the Chernobyl disaster. The roots of the sunflowers remove up to 95% radioactivity by drawing the contaminants out of the water. Amazing!.
Sunflowers are part of the aster family. Their botanical name Helianthus comes from the Greek word for sun ‘helios’ and flower ‘anthos’.
Sunflowers have only been grown for decorative purposes fairly recently. Their seeds have been used as a food crop for many years by North American Indians; they can be eaten raw, ground up for bread or roasted. Sunflower seeds are also used to produce oil, a mature flower produces up to 40% of it’s weight as oil. The oil was used to soften leather, cook with and as hair conditioner.
3 Tulips Bulbs Were Used As Food
Although this flower fact is more well-known, it’s important to know why tulip bulbs were eaten.
Tulip bulbs can be eaten, but it is not common. Using bulbs as a source of food traces back to the winter of 1944-1945, during the second World War.
The winter of 1944-1945 – the situation in Amsterdam had grown hopeless, in December a freeze started that would last for several months. Starvation became common, and many perished. It was here, for the first time, that Tulip bulbs were eaten, along several other agricultural products not typically considered edible (such as sugar beets).
Growers, unable to export their bulbs, began to sell them as food and market the high starch content. Doctors even began to provide recipes on how to prepare bulbs,
Should you ever find yourself eating a Tulip bulb, you will find the taste similar to that of onions or potatoes!
4 SOIL DETERMINES A Hydrangeas’ Colour
Unlike most varieties of flower the colour of a Hydrangeas’ is determined more by soil then breeding.
An acid soil will result in blue flowers. An alkaline soil will produce pink and red flowers. However, hydrangeas with white flowers will always produce white flowers, as they are not affected by the type of soil they are grown in.
5 Roses Are Related To Fruits & Nuts
Roses share a relation with almonds, apples, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and pears. They are all members of the Rosaceae family.
Rose petals are made into scented sachets, distilled into rosewater, and sold as expensive oils and perfumes. But the rose is not just a pretty face – it is a wild edible that can be eaten from root to tip.
Some roses have rose hips which are a berry. Rose hips are used to flavour cakes, jellies, puddings, syrups and wine. they are loaded with Vitamin C. Rosehips can also be added to salads, sauces, soups and teas.
It is a medicinal plant too, and around the world, the documented healing properties of roses have made it an addition to the natural apothecary cabinet.
6 Broccoli Is in facts Flower
Most of us do not think of broccoli as a flower, and to be fair do not see them displayed most florists. However, broccoli, in fact, is a flower.
Broccoli is harvested before the flower buds fully open and eaten as a vegetable.
7 Daffodils Are Used As Currency
Daffodils are used as currency for Prince Charles, he is paid one daffodil a year as rent for his lands on the Island of Scilly and off the coast of Cornwall.
8 Flowers that Smell LIKE Chocolate
Just when you thought that flowers could not get any more mavelous, then comes along the Chocolate Cosmos. These beautiful dark burgundy flowers smell exactly like chocolate.
Other varieties of flowers that also smell like chocolate are the Chocolate Orchid, Chocolate Daisies and Chocolate Mint.
9 Queen Victoria Was A trendsetter
During Queen Victoria reign 1837 – 1901, it was considered that in order to be considered a well-rounded young lady you weer expected to master the art of floral arrangement.
Queen Victoria loved flowers so much that she wore an orange floral wreath instead of the crown. Queen Victoria had herself worn a simple wreath of real orange flowers on her wedding day. This was in turn copied by some of her daughters and daughters-in-law on their marriages, when the orange blossoms were incorporated around the hems of their bridal gowns, together with the sprigs of myrtle, which had their own special meaning within the Queen’s family.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their Wedding Day, 1840 (By Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock
Queen Victoria’s ‘going away’ bonnet, which she wore for the journey from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle for her honeymoon, contained orange sprigs and is still preserved. Queen Victoria’s wedding dress had itself been trimmed on the bodice with “orange-flower-blossoms”
Queen Victoria incorporated a lavish number of beautiful floral arrangements at her wedding making wedding flowers a must have for all brides of the time. A tradition which has remained with us to the present day.
10 Speaking Floriography
Illustration from Floral poetry and the language of flowers (1877)
We could not leave out the language of flowers? Floriography, the language of flowers, has been around for thousands of years, however, most popular during the Victorian era due to its conservativeness attitude to emotional expression and flirtations.
Floriography allowed one to express themselves without saying something deemed taboo out loud to its recipient.
Floriography consisted of an actual floral dictionary where the sender could send flowers to someone with encoded messages through the bouquets, this was also known as “Talking Bouquets,”. A type of text messaging for its time.
I hope you found this interesting …….