Remember Me, Floriography

If I am to die today,

bury me in a light, Spring rain.

Sprinkle me in Mourning Brides.

I’ll leave you with a Celandine.image

And if a Cypress grows on my grave,

won’t you bring me Moss and Nightshade?

Fill your yard with Cornel Trees

and I’ll add a touch of Butterfly Weed.

My life was speckled with pleasure and pain—

a Dog Rose that could last for days—

but, through it all, there grew Snowdrops;

always held on and never gave up.

And though mistakes followed every step,

I will never carry Purple Hyacinth.

So with a Cedar and American Cudweed,

you will live on and remember me.


*(note: Yes, I know, the title is terrible. I couldn’t think of anything else, and I hate it. If you have a better idea, please tell me! Seriously. It needs to change. I’m begging you, please.)

*(another note: Yes, I got bored and decided to see what would happen if I wrote a poem with Floriography. And I decided, why not post it? And… Yeah.)

Picture source: Brittany Made Me Pretty

My poetry belongs to me. All poems under the category “Poetry by Me” are mine. Use of my poetry without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my poetry for any reason, ask me for permission first.

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A Flower for Your Thoughts: Deadly Beautiful

The lovely killers that live in your own backyard.

As you probably already know, there are hundreds of plants in the wild that are toxic, poisonous, and/or deadly. However, you probably never realized just how many of these plants have found a home on your very doorstep.

Azaleas, calla lilies, wisteria, hyacinths… These are just a few examples of highly toxic flowers.

The slideshow below shows images of multiple poisonous flowers, along with their common name (or names). Many, you’ll recognize. You might even be growing some of them in your own garden.

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Now, don’t start freaking out just yet! There’s nothing wrong with keeping these flowers. Though all are poisonous in some way, most of them aren’t deadly when cared for with caution.

Take the bloodflower, for example. The bloodflower is a highly widespread flowering plant and can be found all across the Americas, China, and U.S. territories, among other places. It’s a popular plant to keep in butterfly gardens, as it is known to attract Monarch and Queen butterflies.

The bloodflower is not feared because it’s only poisonous when the stems or leaves are broken. When this happens, a milky sap leaks out and can cause a range of eye injuries.

Some flowers, however, are far more toxic and, if cultivated, should be handled with extreme care.

The aconite (or wolfsbane, whichever you prefer) is one of these. It is one of the most toxic flowers in the world. Symptoms will set in within an hour of consumption, and if a large dose is ingested, death is almost instantaneous.

For this reason, toxic flowers should always be handled with care. If you’re not sure if the flowers you have in your garden or yard are toxic, it’s easy to find a list of toxic plants to double check.

In fact, here’s wikipedia’s list so you don’t have to spend time searching!

Sure, wikipedia isn’t the best source, but in this case, it works perfectly fine!

For the most part, though, you should be alright. It’s good to know what flowers you have that are poisonous, but it isn’t necessary. People go their whole lives without knowing.

However, I think it’s interesting. Back when I didn’t know too much about flowers, I never would have expected such beauty to be so deadly. It really is amazing.

Whether you think it’s interesting or not, I hope you at least learned something new!


Picture Sources: Bloodflower: wikipedia

Aconite/wolfsbane: CMA

Angel’s Trumpet: Me

Calla Lily: Gardening Know How

Azalea: EcoGreen Landscaping

Wisteria: Petal Mist

Hyacinth: TickleFlower

Nightshade: lenharris

Crown Vetch: Flora and Fauna of Mine Falls Park

 

A Flower for Your Thoughts: The Angel’s Trumpet

A beautiful flower in the equally beautiful Ecuador.

Like most of the flowers in the world, angel’s trumpets are not very widely known. However, if you ever have the chance to see them in real life, they’ll take your breath away.

image

The image above is a picture I took of the flower during my trip to Ecuador in 2013.

My gosh, Ecuador is such a beautiful country. If anyone’s looking for an amazing and unique travel destination out of the country, that’s the place I’d suggest.

Sorry, sorry. I’m getting off topic (though at this point, that shouldn’t be surprising). We’re not here to talk about Ecuador, we’re here to talk about this gorgeous flower that I happened to see there.

“Angel’s trumpet” is actually just the common name for the genus Brugmansia, which includes seven species of flowering shrubs or trees, all of which are, sadly, extinct in the wild. The flower I took a picture of was in a sanctuary.

There isn’t too much of a story behind this flower. There aren’t any myths or anything about it (that I could find, at least), it hasn’t really been referenced in literature or in films, and it’s not atrociously rare. However, I did find one interesting tidbit about it.

Angel’s trumpets are used for both medicinal purposes and as toxins.

What?!? If this flower is poisonous, why is it used to heal people?!?!?

I’m glad you asked! When it comes to the medical uses of this flower, it’s generally only used externally, ground up into a poultice or an ointment. It’s used to treat basically any sort of exterior pain, from headaches to inflamation to arthritis.

The flower only truly becomes toxic when ingested. It can cause headaches, confusion, dry mouth, diarrhea, hallucinations, amnesia, and even death, among other things.

So, in short: external use is okay, internal is not.

And on a bit of an unrelated note, the meaning of a Trumpet Flower (which is the general term used for this type of flower) in the world of Floriography is Fame.

Yeah, I don’t understand it either.

Then again, floriography never makes sense, does it?

 

 

A Flower for Your Thoughts: Middlemist Reds

The rarest flower in the world.

Obviously there’s hundreds of rare flowers in the world, but have you ever wondered which is the rarest of them all?

You could try finding a magic mirror to ask, or I could just tell you.

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The rarest flower of them all is the Middlemist Red (not the band, mind you). I actually stumbled across this flower while reading a story, and when I searched its name, I was amazed by what I found.

There are only two documented places where you can find this flower species: a greenhouse in the UK, and a garden in New Zealand.

Unless there’s some random person in the world unknowingly growing it in their garden, this flower exists nowhere else.

Which isn’t much of a surprise. Middlemist Reds are a species of Camellia, a flower genus known to have dozens of rare species. This fact is mainly due to habitat destruction, though their need for a great deal of water may also be a factor.

Not to mention, most Camellia species don’t grow on their own in the wild. They have to be cultivated to grow.

Seriously, it’s no wonder they’re having so much trouble surviving!

The flower gets its name from John Middlemist (pretty cool name, if I do say so myself), who brought the flower to Britain from China back in 1804. It’s said that he stood on the street and either passed them out or sold them to random people.

Imagine that for a second. John Middlemist just passed the flowers out to bystanders who happened to stroll by. Granted, he had no clue how rare the flower would become, nor did anyone else.

At the time, everyone just thought they were pretty flowers.

Maybe it’s just me, but that’s simply mind-blowing!

Though I guess I can imagine myself as part of that crowd, being given a flower and aweing at its beauty. They are rather stunning, even if their name is a bit misleading.

… They’re bright pink, not red…


 

Picture source: the BBC

*Also, I tried finding a biography of John Middlemist, but there’s nothing out there that I could find, not even a wikipedia page! Wikipedia, you’ve failed me.*

A Flower for Your Thoughts: Five Tulips for Five Months

Just a little bit of beauty to brighten your day.

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I just wanted to show you these because they’re absolutely beautiful. My boyfriend and I celebrated our five month anniversary on the 4th, and he gave me these to celebrate.

So, yeah. Tulips actually mean “Perfect Lover” according to Floriography. He, of course, didn’t know or think about that when giving them to me, but you know. Fun fact of the day.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that. Have a beautiful day!

 

A Flower for Your Thoughts: The Story of the Snowdrop

There’s always more than meets the eye.

I expect very few of you have ever heard of this flower. Unlike the rose, daisy, or carnation, no one talks about it. However, I can say with absolute certainty that the snowdrop is my favorite flower.

This flower is obviously very small, which is possibly why it isn’t widely known. However, in places where it’s common, the flowers bloom in close quarters and form a carpet of white. The site is beautiful (as you can see in the first image above), and one that I hope with all my heart that I might have the chance to see one day.

This is one of the many reasons I love this flower. The fact that, alone, it’s so small and unnoticeable. But when it stands with its brethren, it creates a mass of beauty that is impossible to overlook.

No, that isn’t the only reason. In fact, the story of the snowdrop is what really makes me love it so much.

Did you know the snowdrop is the first flower to bloom at the beginning of spring? It’s often found blooming while snow is still on the ground. Floriography, the language of flowers, took this fact into account when giving the flower its meaning.

Can you guess what that meaning is? It’s one of the simplest and purest in the entire language.

The snowdrop means “hope”.

I’m sure the meaning varies just as every other meaning does, but I’ve looked through multiple dictionaries and the only additions to the meaning I’ve found are “pure” or “consolation”. However, it’s rare that these additions are made, and the meaning is almost always just “hope”.

I love that something so small and so overlooked means something so simple yet so powerful. And I bet you’ve never noticed the snowdrop’s references in some of my favorite works of literature and fim.

Hans Christian Anderson, my absolute favorite children’s author and probably yours as well (though you might not realize he is), wrote a short story entitled The Snowdrop, which follows a snowdrop as it blooms, reachs for the light, and eventually finds itself pressed between the pages of a poetry book (and what beautiful symbolism that is!).

And in the movie Stardust (my absolute FAVORITE movie EVER (you should totally watch it if you haven’t already)), Dustan recieves a glass snowdrop (yeah, it’s a snowdrop. I only recently found out myself) from Una in exchange for a kiss. The same snowdrop is used to protect Tristan from Lamia’s magic later on in the movie.

It’s even been suggested that a flower that appears in Homer’s Odyssey, a magical herb referred to as moly, is actually a snowdrop. There’s an active substance in the snowdrop called galantamine that’s used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. The same substance could have been used as an antidote for Circe’s poisons.

The snowdrop is an amazing and beautiful flower, and it saddens me to know it will never be recognized as an equal to flowers such as the daisy or the rose.

But at least I’ve shared this marvelous flower with you. And though you may not care, you’ve read and so you know.

Thank you for giving me your time.

Have a beautiful and wonderful day!


Picture Sources: wikipedia

Mother Nature Network

Coton Manor Garden