zFlowers.com offers many helpful tips concerning the selection of flowers for special occasions. This series of posts on alternating Saturdays will cover the full A – Z of popular flowers. Some weeks ago we discussed key flowers in both the A – G and H – L range. In connection with this Guide to Popular Flowers, you may want to consider some of these lovely popular plants and flowers in the M – R range for your garden or as gifts:
Magnolias: These large, fragrant flowers are a symbol of nobility, perseverance, and love of nature. While normally white the also can be found in pink, mauve, peach, yellow, lavender and purple. Interestingly, the flowers of the magnolia tree do not have petals and sepals like other flowers; instead they are composed of tepals which are leaf-like, petal structures. Since Magnolias represent durability, strength of character and bearing, they are widely used in weddings.
Nerine: Nerine curvifolia plants grow from bulbs and produce striking red and gold or pink trumpet shaped flowers. People may raise them in planters in order to take them indoors during cold weather.
Orchids: Throughout history, Orchids have been a symbol of fertility and virility, as they feature elements of both male and female anatomy. Because of their symmetry, and the straight lines on their petals, orchids represent beauty in symmetry, and are considered the epitome of rare beauty. Also as they thrive in the tropics they have long carried a hint of the exotic Orient to those in the West. With over 35,000 species of orchids around, you’ll never be short of unique flowers to gift your loved ones on special occasions!
Pansies: Pansies developed as a hybrid of several Viola species. These lovely annuals produce large blossoms extending in length between up to 3″ in diameter. These plants appreciate sunny, well-drained soils. They occur in many colourful varieties of white, yellow, purple or blue and typically consist of two different contrasting shades, such as yellow and purple.
Phlox: Some 67 varieties of Phlox offer colourful, drought resistant garden additions. These flowers come in many sizes and often form part of cut-flower floral arrangements. Some varieties offer excellent ground cover for barren areas in yards.
Pinwheel: This flower (Aeonium haworthii) remains a very popular succulent. It produces rosettes of thick green leaves which often develop red or pink tinges. In the spring, the plant produces delicate cream-colored flowers.
Poinsettia: This summer plant makes an excellent Christmas season gift. The lovely, typically red, blossoms make a brilliant display. The Poinsettia is native to Central America, where for centuries it has carried a symbolic association with generosity and gift-giving. Some varieties produce orange or white flowers.
Poppy: Members of the Papaver species produce thin white, pink, yellow, orange or red blossoms and bloom from late spring through early summer. There are nearly 100 different species of poppies. Many varieties make excellent, easily cultivated garden flowers. This plant is believed to have originated in Eurasia or North America. The poppy was widely associated in popular memory with the remembrance of soldiers who passed away in Flanders during the First World War. It now serves as a symbol of remembrance on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, which commemorates all those who have served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Queen Anne’s Lace: The delicate white flowers of this hardy wild flower made is a favorite in many stately Victorian gardens. Today, Queen Anne’s Lace is sometimes regarded as a weed. It will grow easily in flower gardens, but take care that it does not spread to areas where you do not want it to grow!
Rainbow Fern: Technically not a flower, rainbow ferns (Calochlaena dubia) remain just one of some 12,000 types of ferns in the world. They prefer shady spots. They grow readily in clay soils and make an excellent garden addition. The feathery green fronds contribute to beautiful floral arrangements.
Ranunculus: These popular blossoms offer vibrant colours and may occur in many shades of white, orange and red. They are beautiful but toxic to pets and livestock. Blossoms appear in the spring. They have been cultivated as garden plants for many years.
Roses: Roses remain a highly popular gift flower. They also help create lovely gardens. They come in a wide array of colours; many hues carrying symbolic meaning. Cut red roses remain a popular way to express undying affection and love. Other sought-after colors include: white, cream, pink, yellow, orange, scarlet and burgundy. Rose stems usually carry thorns. With hundreds of rose species in the world, these fragrant flowers appear in many forms, including miniature and climbing varieties. Roses contribute significantly to the fragrance industry.
Please return in two weeks time for the final post in this Guide to Popular flowers when we will cover flowers in the S – Z range. zFlowers.com can help you select the best types of flowers to send during specific holidays and on memorable anniversaries. We also offer gift baskets. With such a beautiful array of blossoms available to enrich our lives, everyone should enjoy and share the sweet gift of flowers!