The Protea, unlike several other flowers does not have a botanical and an English common name. The Protea is both the botanical and the common name used. It is a genus of flowering plants that is sometimes called sugar bushes. It’s name dates back to the early 1700s. It was named by Carolus Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus; a god who could change his form at will. Proteus was the son of Poseidon, a sea god who had the power to know all things past, present, and future. Proteus was fairly lazy and to avoid responsibilities would change his form at will. The Protea is named after this Greek god because it too presents itself in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. There are more than 1400 different types of the Protea. The Protea is one of the older families of flowers living on the earth today. With it’s association to Greek mythology and to transforming shapes, it has been symbolic of diversity and courage.
The Queen Anne’s Lace
The Queen Anne’s Lace or the “Wild Carrot” as some people refer to it is a common plant found in dry fields, open areas, and ditches. It was introduced from Europe and the carrots we eat today come from this very plant. It can grow up to about four feet tall with leaves that can reach eight inches in length. The Queen Anne is best known for its tiny white flowers that bloom in lacy, flat topped clusters with a purple center. This plant also produces fruits that are spiky and curl inward building a small “birds nest” shape. They generally bloom from May to October in the span of two years. The first year it spends getting bigger and bigger, while the second year it goes into full bloom. Since it has been introduced into the United States, many people think it to be an invasive weed because it will crowd and compete with other plants. Legend states that the Queen Anne was the wife of King James I and was challenged by her friends to create a lace as beautiful as a flower. While making the lace she pricked her finger; the red flower center represents a drop of her blood. The Queen Anne’s Lace today represents sanctuary.
The Ranunculus is a genus of about 400 species of plants found in the Ranunculaceae. It can include buttercups, spearworts, and water crowfoots. They are mostly herb perennials with a bright yellow or white flower, although some can be annuals or biennials. Buttercups will generally flower in April or May but you can usually continue to find flowers throughout the summer seasons. The Ranunculus is native to Asia and celebrated for its medicinal properties as well as its beauty. Its color can range from white to pink, or red to yellow. The legend behind the Ranunculus is that the mythological coyote was tossing his eyes up in the air and catching them when the Eagle snatched them away. Since the coyote could not see any longer it made eyes from the buttercup.
The rose is a perennial flowering shrub or vine within the family Rosaceae. It contains over 100 species. Most roses are native to Asia, and some small numbers are native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Roses are available year round and are generally in high demand around Valentines Day and Mother’s Day. They are also used in several different perfumes and liqueurs; their petals produce oils that are used in several different scent ointments and toiletries. Some are actually even edible and used to garnish salads and fruit trays. Roses also help in treating depression. The rose has been a long time symbol of love and passion; the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the goddess of love. Each color has a different meaning from friendship, gratitude, appreciated, love, and much more. It is the June birth flower and the 15th wedding anniversary flower. It is also the national flower of the United States and the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia.