The agnus castus flower means coldness or indifference. As I look down the list in my language of flowers book the flowers and their meanings do get a little happier. I'm in a stretch right now that is kind of glum, thankfully these were purple and that is one of my favorite colors. This plant loves to grow in warm climates and has fragrant flowers and foliage. It is a medicinal herb used for the reproductive system. Now for the old stuff, this is my favorite part. No mythology links that I could find, but in ancient times it was supposedly used to reduce sexual desire and women in Roman times would spread the leaves around their beds while their husbands were off to war. In the middle ages the agnus castus became a food spice in monasteries and was called "Monk's Pepper" or "Cloister Pepper".
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The meaning of African marigold flowers is vulgar minds, interesting, especially for the Victorians. Thought they were very refined and proper. This hardy flower is also called the African daisy. A few tidbits I learned about this one is that the African daisy flowers reflect the beauty and burning color of the sun and hence are referred to as the goddess of the sun. The marigold is also associated with the lion and the astrological sign Leo. Early Christians named the flower "Mary's Gold" and gave blossoms instead of money at the foot of statues of Mary. Marigold was once thought to protect against the plague and effective in stopping gossip - must not be too effective for stopping gossip as it still rages on... :)
Friday, January 22, 2010
The flowers for the month of January are carnation and snowdrops. The meanings of these lovelies are fascination, devoted, love/consolation, a friend in adversity. I love the delicate white snowdrops.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Adnois vernalis - Spring Adonis. It can also be called Pheasant's eye or Birdseye. The flower meaning is painful recollection. There are several varities and can be red or yellow. It is mainly native to the mountain meadows in Europe, Korea and Japan. It is sometimes used in New Year's bouquets in Japan for a wish of a happy and long life. In Greek mythology it is said that Aphrodite loved Adonis and Ares was very jealous of this because he loved Aphrodite. Ares turned himself into a wild boar and killed Adonis. Aphrodite then changed him into the flowwer that is now known as Adonis.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Aconite, also known as Wolfsbane or Winter Aconite, means Misanthropy. In starting this project I have been very surprised how many flowers mean negative things. I guess since flowers represent beauty I assumed they all would have pleasant meanings, but as language goes there is bad with the good. These are wildflowers that are related to buttercups, they are poisonous plants, and they bloom in January. From Greek and Roman mythology Medea tried to kill Theseus by poisoning him after putting Aconite in his wine. Cicely Mary Barker also has a very charming illustration of an Aconite fairy.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
I used to grow lots of herbs and had a little herb nursery for a while when my kids were young and I grew Yarrow once and planting it once is all it takes! Yarrow loves Nevada and it loved our yard, it grew better than our grass and in our grass... even though, I still liked it for its hardiness and colors and what I learned about it recently intrigued me even more. It's meaning is war. It is a member of the daisy and aster families. It is also called Milfoil, Sneezewart, Soldier's Friend and Thousand Leaf. It has some common uses as a salad green, a wound dressing, an astringent and antidepressant. In Roman times it was called Herba Militaris as was valued for treating wounds, which brings me to what I found really interesting. From Floridata.com I learned that Linnaeus, the father of botanical nomenclature, coined the generic name Achillea, in honor of Achilles, the greek hero of the Trojan War in Homer's Iliad, who used Yarrow to treat his soldiers' war wounds. Yarrow was also used with plantain in the civil war as a poultice to treat the soldiers' war wounds. I was comforted that the meaning war reflected it's use in treating war wounds rather than as a symbol of starting wars.