Flowers and History

Through generations, humans used flowers to share their sentiments, decorate their surroundings, and to celebrate important rituals and observances. Books, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, and other forms of art depict the use of flowers.

Scientists have declared that there are more than 270,000 species of flowers that have been documented, and existing in the present century. During the last 125 years, an intricate assortment of more than 125,000 flower species has developed.

Turks are supposed to be the pioneers of floriography way back in the 17th century. The language was highly welcomed by the Europeans. During the reign of Queen Victoria, commonly known as the Victorian Era (1837-1901), the flowers language, or FLORIOGRAPHY, flourished a lot. Due to strict propriety, the Victorian women were not allowed to communicate special feelings. They started expressing their special sentiments through flowers. The recognizable aroma of a particular flower or a perfumed handkerchief delivers its own unique message.

Flowers and Symbolism:
Down the ages, flowers have been used as national, cultural and religious symbols. Lotus has religious importance in Hinduism. Ancient Egyptian architecture features lotuses. In England, the House of York used the white rose as its emblem, while the House of Lancaster used the red rose. For England’s Throne, the War of the Roses was fought between the two houses. When marriage coupled the houses, the roses were merged to make a Tudor rose.

Flowers Beyond History:
The first evidence of plant life is the wooden fossils of magnolia-like plants that dating back 93 million years. More recently, Paleobotanists have discovered tiny herb-like fossils dating back 120 million years. Flowering plants, called angiosperms, were supposed to be already found with a variety in most places by the middle of the Cretaceous Period, dating back 146 million years ago. Countless images of preserved flowers and floral parts have been found in fossils from England, Portugal, Sweden, and along the Eastern and Gulf coasts of United States. The discovery of skeletons of a man, two women and an infant, buried together in soil containing pollen of flowers in a cave in Iraq, associates the role of flowers in burial rituals with the cave dwelling Neanderthals of the Pleistocene era. Let’s have a look at the flowers which have long history.

Egyptian tombs, dating from 15th century B.C. to Cleopatra’s time, feature wall paintings depicting roses. According to Confucius, the Emperor of China owned over 600 books on the culture of Roses during his life (551-479 B.C).

In a villa in Crete, pictures of Lilies were found dating back to the Minoan Period, about 1580 B.C. Lily is a symbol of fertility in both Christian and Pagan traditions.

Daisy flowers are thought to be more than 4000 years old. Beautiful gold hairpins, each ending in a daisy-like ornament, were found in the Minoan palace on the Island of Crete.

Sun Flower:
The natives of the Inca Empire in Peru were found worshipping a giant sunflower (reported by Francisco Pizzaro in 1532).

Tulips grew wild in Persia over a thousand years ago. The Mogul King Baber counted thirty-three different species near Kabul.

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