Prepare yourself for a full crop of bud-busting trivia. From pollination to cultivation to symbolism, we’ve got it all covered (and fertilized and watered). Does plant prowess come naturally to you?
Which unusual flower is pollinated by gnats and the larvae of thrips?
Jack in the pulpit
The Jack in the pulpit has an odd name and is indeed pollinated by gnats (how annoying)! It’s a tuberous perennial that is also known as Indian Turnip. These plants can live 20 to 100 years, and the sex of the flowers on a single plant can change from year to year. Freaky.
Which flower is symbolic of the first emotions of love?
In Victorian times, culture was focused on symbolism and flowers played a large part. Though there are several colors of lilac, the purple variety symbolizes the first emotions of love. So be sure to include that in a corsage for your prom date. Skip the orange lily, which symbolizes hatred and dislike.
Hyacinths get their name from a character in Greek mythology, Hyakinthos. He was a favorite of the sun god Apollo, and when Hyakinthus was fatally wounded by a flying discus, a beautiful flower sprang up from the ground where his blood had fallen. Apollo named the plant Hyacinth after his deceased friend.
Which ancient flowering tree evolved before bees existed?
Magnolias are truly ancient. Some varieties have been found in fossils dating back to 95 million years ago and many others date back 20 million years. Because they came into existence before bees, magnolias have tough flowers and leaves to withstand damage from beetles, which did the pollinating back then.
Native Americans use this flowering plant as an antiseptic to treat wounds.
Wood anemone is a natural healer and many herbalists use it. The roots have antiseptic properties and are often used to make a cleansing wash to put on cuts and wounds. Native Americans also made a tea from the roots that relieved headaches and dizziness. You might want to stock up on this cure-all plant.
Why did flower symbolism become so popular during the Victorian era?
Gardening was a popular activity.
Queen Victoria loved flowers.
Expressing emotions was frowned upon during this time.
During the Victorian age, it was not appropriate to openly express emotions such as love and grief. Instead, the Victorians gave their flowers emotional symbolism, so you could say what you meant with flowers. For example, instead of sending an e-mail, your boss would send a nutmeg geranium which clearly says “I expect a meeting.”
Which flowering plant was once used to make life jackets?
Though rose-smelling life jackets might make your hours afloat more pleasant, sunflowers offer the most benefit. Before modern flotation materials were created, they used dried sunflower stalks to fill lifejackets and keep them buoyant.
Most people know perennials bloom every year, while annuals die and have to be replanted. But that isn't the whole story. If you plant the right type of annuals, you only have to do it once. Choose reseeding annuals like larkspur, poppies, cosmos and coreopsis. They drop their seeds on the ground and pop back up the next spring!
When was the first book about flower symbolism published?
The first modern book on the meaning of flowers was published in 1819. This guide to symbolism was called "Le Language des Fleurs" and it was written by Madame Charlotte de la Tour. In 1884, Kate Greenaway wrote “Language of Flowers,” which has since become the most popular book on the subject.
Bette Midler sang this song, featured in the film of the same name. In “The Rose,” Bette stars as Mary Rose Foster, a rock star struggling to cope with the challenges of her career. Not only a great movie and soundtrack, but a great karaoke song.