February is the month when you will find the florist’s shops overflowing with roses. Floriography was a method used by Victorians to send messages to others without uttering a word – thus the roses became symbolic of love, especially for Valentine’s Day.
There are several other flowers or plants that suggest love as well. Lovegrass is a very beautiful perennial with ornamental, wispy plumes. Its Greek name is eragrostis: eros meaning love and agrostis meaning grass. It’s also used as fodder for livestock.
Love-in-a-Mist is a lovely bright blue flower that seems to float in a mist of fine, feathery foliage. Other names it is known by are wild fennel, black cumin, devil-in-the-bush, and more. The black seeds were used as a spice before black pepper was introduced. It was also used to cure headaches, toothaches, insect repellent and to treat worms. Multi-tasking flowers at their best!
Love-in-a-puff, or Heartseed, is a fast-growing vine that will wrap its tendrils around anything it has a chance to. It looks a lot like a tomatillo and has three sides which stay inflated until you squeeze it, then it pops and displays three delightful seeds. Each one will have a perfect white heart at the place where it was attached to the pod. It is a lovely, whimsical little plant that has also been used for antidiarrhoeal medicinal properties.
Cupid’s Dart or Love Plant is a favorite of florists as it’s papery, bright-blue, dandelion shaped blossoms are great for arrangements. The Greeks and Romans used them as a powerful love potion.
Bleeding Hearts –bleeding hearts is not something one usually wants. They are quite pretty with heart-shaped pink flowers that have what appears to be a little drop of blood at the bottom. This one might best be presented along with a luscious box of chocolates and an explanation!
Forget-Me-Nots are a sweet, pretty little flower that comes with a sad myth. It seems a couple was walking along the Danube River when the lady questioned aloud if her sweetheart was faithful to her. To prove his love, he swam to the other side of the river to pick some flowers for her (at her request) but drowned in the process. He tossed the flowers to her as he said, ”Forget me not,” so that is what she named the flowers. A heartbreaking poem written about that by William McGonagall is worth the read. The flowers became a symbol of true and lasting love, even after death as she pledged to love no other man the rest of her life.
The Alzheimer’s Society uses the Forget-Me-Not as an icon to raise awareness for the disease and support for the caretakers.
To be on the safe side one will probably want to stick to roses. They are tried and true. Who doesn’t love a rose? Or chocolates? Or jewelry? Or dinner out?
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