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Moments That Flowers Made History

According to a study carried out in 2016, the researchers discovered their new plant total by searching existing databases. According to a study carried out in 2016 In total, they now estimate that there approximately 369,400 are flowering plants.

Each and every one of them has the ability to inspire and dazzle. Many people appreciate the beauty and artistry of flowers from all over the world. Some designers use their displays to address issues like climate change, the economy, and sustainability. On a more personal level, they can be used to commemorate almost every significant event, from births to weddings to funerals. It's no surprise, then, that they have so much meaning for people all around the world.

 However, their significance and symbolism can occasionally extend beyond personal stories. Here are five moments when flowers made history.

 

1. Sunflower

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You may recall growing these towering giants in school, but one artist became so fascinated with them that they ended up defining a big part of his career.

Vincent van Gogh created hundreds of masterpieces of art in his lifetime, but some of the most famous are those depicting sunflowers, which were intimately linked with him. He wrote to his brother Theo: “You know that Jeannin has the peony, Quost has the hollyhock, but I have the sunflower, in a way.”

Unfortunately, Van Gogh's art did not receive much attention until after his death. He completed 12 sunflower paintings in total, and in the same letter to his brother, he estimated that one of them would sell for around 500 French francs, which he was satisfied with. That equates to approximately £66. They are now being auctioned off for millions of dollars, demonstrating the lasting significance of his work.

 

2. Poppy

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The poppy, maybe more than any other flower on our list, represents the greatest paradox: it has done so much good while also causing horrific suffering.

Friedrich Wilhelm Serturner, a German chemist, isolated the portion of opium that would later become the painkiller morphine in 1804. He originally named it morphium, after Morpheus, which is the Ancient Greek God of dreams.

And it lived up to its name. Its benefits were so desired at the time that 'opium dens' sprang up all over London and beyond, filled with individuals eager for their next hit, causing an epidemic. But its therapeutic powers were and continue to be amazing. For example, it is used to relieve pain in some cancer patients as well as those who have undergone major surgery.

The poppy has recently been given a symbolic meaning. When WWI broke out in the summer of 1914, trenches were dug and soldiers began to march in their thousands across fields and countryside, trampling all living beneath their feet. Many landscapes were desecrated across Europe as a result of this, yet specific conditions in 1915 resulted in something beautiful emerging from the wastelands.

Poppy seeds can remain dormant for up to hundreds of years before sprouting where the ground has been disturbed. This, along with a very hot spring in 1915, caused Flanders Field in Ypres to burst into flower, transforming it into a sea of red.

Many soldiers who participated in the war found the image to be extraordinarily moving, and one Canadian soldier, Major John McCrae, immortalized it in a poem called In Flanders Field. The poppy is now a symbol of those who fought and died not only in WWI but in conflicts all over the world.

 

3. Lotus

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The lotus's opening and closing are both beautiful and mysterious. They close at night, a process known as nyctinasty. Why these flowers developed to have a bedtime is a question that has captivated many people throughout history.

In Ancient Egypt times, for instance, the blue lotus (also called the blue water lily) can be found on jewelry, embellishing countless papyrus paintings, and even wreaths in Tutankhamun's tomb.

In Ancient Egypt, the blue lotus was also associated with fertility. It is now discovered that the flower contains apomorphine, a substance often used to treat male sexual dysfunction. According to research, the Ancient Egyptians were aware of this particular feature.

 

4. Daffodil

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The daffodil has the distinction of being honored in one of England's most renowned poems, yet it is Wales that claims it as (one of) its national symbols.

The daffodil is a well-known symbol of Wales, but it is not the only plant that represents the country. Since the 16th century, noblemen and kings have worn the leek pinned to their garments. The scent must have been... unique.

The Welsh word for daffodil is ‘Cenhinen Bedr,' which translates to St Peter's Leek, so the fact that it shares the same name as the country's initial symbol may have contributed to the daffodil's ascent to fame in the 19th century. That, plus the fact that it smells better when you wear it.

 

5. Rose

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It's a popular girl's name that's utilized in perfumes and symbolizes love. The rose has also served as a symbol for some of England's darkest civil conflicts.

These were the Wars of the Roses. Note the plural - several fights lasted decades. Because Lancastrian King Henry VI had not had an heir (at the time they began), two houses, York and Lancaster were fighting for the English crown.

King Henry was frequently captured and released until the Yorkists assassinated him in the Tower of London. The leading men of both the House of York and Lancaster were killed in battle too, though, so it wasn’t until Henry Tudor (a distant Lancastrian) defeated the remaining Yorkists at the Battle of Bosworth and married Elizabeth of York that the wars ended and the families were finally at peace.

The white rose was always the sign of the Yorkists, but the red rose was only legally presented as the Lancastrian symbol following Henry Tudor's victory at the Battle of Bosworth. The two roses were united to form the Tudor rose when Henry and Elizabeth married, symbolizing the unity of the two houses.

1 comment
Felix Wade August 12, 2021

Even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower.

Felix

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