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Interesting Facts About Flowers

Gerbera Daisies: These lively, festive flowers originated in Africa and are now cultivated in a dazzling array of cheerful colors.

Gladioli: Pliny the Elder, a Roman scientist of the first century A.D. named these stately flowers. Struck by the resemblance between the sheath of the flower and the weapon that was carried by Roman soldiers, he called the flower “gladiolus” from the Latin word “gladius” which means sword.

Lilies: These striking trumpet-shaped flowers are one of the oldest known to man and are thought to have originated in the Orient. Throughout the ages, they have been popular motif in both secular and religious art.

Snapdragons: These old-fashioned favorites with the whimsical name are native to the Mediterranean. Their Latin name is Antirrhinum, meaning like a snout. Other common names for these flowers are calves’ snouts, lion’s lips, toad’s mouth and rabbit’s mouth.

Tulips: The tulip, a symbol of life, love and immortality, actually dates back to the time of Confucius. By the late 1600’s in Holland, bulb prices often exceeded the price of precious metals. A single bulb is said to have sold for more that $2,000.

Achillea: Believed to help prevent baldness if used as a shampoo. Powerful herb. Some think it will help to cure headaches, kidney infections, stop bleeding and help lessen the severity of the common cold. If grown outside in a garden, will attract bees, butterflies and/or birds.

African Corn Lily: Often used as a filler in large floral arrangements.

Agapanthus: Takes 4 to 6 days to fully bloom. Can be grown in pots or gardens.

Alstroemeria: Considered to be one of the most beautiful cut flowers, alstroemeria is ethylene sensitive-keep away from contact with fruits, carbon monoxide and all external sources of ethylene, good for gardening (perennial).

Amaryllis: Can cause sickness in household pets if ingested. Symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, and salavation. Fragrant. Bees, butterflies and/or birds are attracted to this flower.

Amaranth: Seeds are over 10,000 years old and predates corn. Seeds can be found in natural food stores. Seeds can be fried and mixed with honey or molasses to make the Mexican treat alegria, its protein is suitable for the human diet. Attracts wild birds if grown outside.

Anemone: Goddess Flora was so jealous of her husbands attention towards the nymph, Anemone, she turned her into the windflower. Used for menstrual pain, emotional distress and cramping.
Anigozanthus: If grown outside, needs protections from snails.

Anthurium: All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.

Asparagus Fern: Used as filler in flower arrangements. Can be used to treat intestinal worms and syphilis.

Aster: Over 600 species. Attracts bees, butterflies, and/or birds.

Astrantia: Dates back to 1534. Good for growing in the garden.

Baby’s Breath: Most commonly used as filler in floral arrangements.

Bachelor’s Button: Attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. An old wives tale suggests that a single man would pick a bachelor’s button early in the morning while the ground was still covered in dew and place it in his pocket for 24 hours. It was said that if the flower kept its true blue color that the man would have a happy marriage. The flower rarely kept its color so many men stayed single.

Bamboo: Commonly used as an indoor plants, twisted shapes available.

Birds of Paradise: This is a low maintenance plant that can be grown in gardens. All parts of plants are poisonous if ingested. When birds drink the nectar, petals open to cover their feet in pollen.

Bells of Ireland: Used often on St. Patrick’s Day, however the only association with Ireland is its name.

Bouvardia: The flower is very attracted to hummingbirds. Very fragrant flowers.

Bupleurum: Used as an herd to reduce inflammation of the liver and protects the liver from toxins.

Sap will stain clothing however, stain will only appear after clothes have been washed. Poisonous if ingested. Although called a calla lily, they are not related to the true lily or the lily family.

Camellia: Mainly used in gardens. Highly valued in Japan.

Carnation: Carnations symbolize many things. Pink carnations are said to have first appeared on Earth when a tear fell from the Virgin Mary’s eye when Jesus Christ was carrying the cross. According to Christian legend, the flower was said to have sprung up from the Earth when her tear hit the ground, therefore the pink carnation represents a Mother’s undying love.

Cosmos: Hummingbirds are very attracted to this flower. Very fragrant. Chocolate cosmos even smell like chocolate. Are suitable for drying.

Chrysanthemum: There is a festival of happiness in Japan to celebrate this flower. In Europe, Chrysanthemum is a symbol of death and are used only for funerals or on graves. Flowers are used to make a sweet drink known as chrysanthemum tea. In Asia the tea is used for many medical uses such as and aid in recovery from influenza.

Daffodil: National flower of Wales. Flowers are fragrant. Some species have frilly petals. Many poets such as Oscar Wilde and William Wordsworth have written about this flower. It is said that Prince Charles receives one Daffodil annually as payment for the unused land in Sicily.

Dahlias: National flower of Mexico.

Delphinium: Extracts of the plant has been used in herbal medicine. Often used as filler in arrangements. The juices of the flower will create a blue ink when mixed with alum.

Dianthus: Closely related to the carnation. An excellent filler flower.

English Lavender: Extremely fragrant. Butterflies are attracted to this plant. Lavender has many uses. Can be made into potpourri, oils, stored in clothing drawers to keep a fresh scent and to ward off moths. Used as an antiseptic and in aromatherapy. Used as an herb and blossoms can be candied to be used as cake decorations.

Equisetum: There are 15 different species, all with there own characteristic. Often used in modern floral designs.

Eucalyptus: used in oil and can help with respiratory problems. Extremely fragrant. Native to Australia.

Freesia: Very fragrant. Used as filler in floral arrangements. Over 110 million stems sold in the UK annually.

Gardenia: Originally cultivated in China and Japan. Available as a potted plant. A favorite flower for weddings.

Gerbera Daisy: The fifth most popular cut flower in the world. The only color not available is blue.

Ginger: Used in modern floral designs. Many different varieties of ginger each with there own characteristics.

Gladiolus: Parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Very fragrant. May cause allergic reactions. Mostly used in sympathy bouquets.

Godetia: Foliage will die before flower.

Golden Rod: Excellent filler flower. Often considered to be a weed and is often blamed for hay fever however, there pollen is so heavy that it is unable to be blown far from the flower. Using goldenrod, Thomas Edison was able to produce rubber. It was said to be resilient and long lasting. The Model T that was given to him as a gift from Henry Ford had tires made out of goldenrod.

Golden Craspedia: Flower dries very well and is often used for permanent arrangements.

Heather: Flowers are extremely fragrant. Works well as a filler flower in arrangements.

Heliconia: A very important food source for forest hummingbirds. Related to the banana.

Hyacinth: These flowers are very fragrant and were once sought after because of their scent. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries having this flower was a symbol of wealth and style. Said to have been first cultivated in Austria in the 1500’s.

Hydrangea: Very popular for wedding arrangements. Are suitable for drying.

Iris: The Iris is the National Emblem of France.

Kalanchoe: Very popular gift for Valentine’s Day.

Leptospermum: The name tea tree refers to when early Australian settlers would soak the leaves of this flower to make a herbal tea that was rich in Vitamin C.

Lilac: Flowers are extremely fragrant and attract bees, butterflies and birds. Used as an accent in florist arrangements or alone. Fur traders in the late 17th Century are said to have planted Lilac bushes on Macanac Island which remain there today.

Liatris: Popularly used in contemporary floral designs. Dries very well. A sealant should be used to prevent shattering.

Lily: The lily represents pure and virginal love in the Christian faith. Other popular types of lilies are the Oriental lily, Tiger Lily and Easter Lily each of which have their own special characteristics.

Lily of the Valley: Is said to have been the favorite flower of Queen Victoria. All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Very popular for weddings and corsage designs.

Limonium: Often used as filler in floral design. Papery flowers are very good for drying.

Lisianthus: Is rapidly becoming more popular in the cut flower industry.

Matsumoto Asters: Highly susceptible to bacteria. Keep water fresh.

Narcissus: Flowers are extremely fragrant. Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. All daffodils are narcissi but not all narcissi are daffodils.

Nerine: Very popular for corsages and wedding bouquets. Known as the Jersey lily after the British actress Lily Langtry. Langtry bore the nickname Jersey Lily as she was from the Isle of Jersey, UK.

Orchid: The orchid is the largest family in the plant kingdom with nearly 25,000 known varieties. The world’s largest orchid can grow up to 20 m long.

Ornithogalum: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Leonardo Da Vinci has paintings of the Star of Bethlehem (1505-1507).

Peonies: Flowers are extremely fragrant. Popular as a filler flower in mixed bouquets or alone. Is a symbol for luxury and indulgence. Is a traditional floral symbol of China. Are grown as ornamental plants.

Phlox: Flowers are extremely fragrant and will attract bees, butterflies, and/or birds. Makes a beautiful perennial for the garden.

Pittosporum: Popularly used in the garden, however is becoming increasingly sought after for wedding arrangements. Used as a filler.

Platycodon: Mostly grown in gardens, however are suitable for cutting. Works well as a potted plant.

Poppy: Used as a symbol for Remembrance Day (November 11). The poppy was chosen because the flower bloomed in the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I. The red color symbolizes the bloodshed of trench warfare. Popularly used in Christmas wreaths. Suitable for drying

Pincushion Protea: Often used in floral arrangements as filler and to create an exotic look. Is native to South America and grows wild there.

King Protea: Leaves are used to produce tea. There are over 120 protea species listed on the endangered species list. Used as a focal point in floral arrangements to promote an exotic look.

Queen Anne’s Lace: Not to be confused with the other Queen Anne’s Lace which grows as a weed. Creates a sap that will cause skin rash and irritation. A favorite with florists as a filler flower in arrangements.

Ranunculus: Ranunculus has a hollow stem and may need for a wire to be inserted to prevent them from curving. Myths suggest that it was an Asian prince’s name for whom the flower was named for. The prince was so handsome that he was loved by all. He sang beautiful songs in the open country and for the nymphs. He did not have the courage to profess his love for the nymphs and it haunted him so much that he died. After he died, he was turned into the beautiful flower.

Rose: Many rose varieties produce a sweet fragrance. Rose perfumes are made by steam distilling crushed rose petals which produces essential oils. Very popularly used in Persia, Bulgaria, Iran and Germany. The rose is the National flower of England, the provincial flower of Alberta and the State flower of Iowa, North Dakota, Georgia and New York. Portland, Oregon holds an annual Rose Festival.

The rose is often used as a symbol for the Virgin Mary. The most popular and well known cut flower. Used in floral arrangements, wedding and corsage work by florists. Red roses are the most sought after flower for a Valentine’s Day gift. Monk’s cultivated rose bushes after the crusades for medicine. Rose water was successful in curing ailments such as trembling, constipation, drunkenness, insomnia and skin and throat infections.

There is no such rose with a true blue or a true black color. Black roses are generally a deep, deep red where as blue roses are typically purple.

Many rose varieties produce a sweet fragrance. Rose perfumes are made by steam distilling crushed rose petals which produces essential oils. Very popularly used in Persia, Bulgaria, Iran and Germany. The rose is the National flower of England, the provincial flower of Alberta and the State flower of Iowa, North Dakota, Georgia and New York. Portland, Oregon holds an annual Rose Festival. Roses are the most popular and well-known flower used in floral arrangements, wedding and corsage work by florists.

Red roses are the most sought after flower for a Valentine’s Day gift.

Monk’s cultivated rose bushes after the crusades for medicinal uses. Rose water was successful in curing ailments such as trembling, constipation, drunkenness, insomnia and skin and throat infections. There is no such rose with a true blue or a true black color. Black roses are generally a deep, deep red where as blue roses are typically purple.

Salvia: Adds height to a floral arrangement. Attracts bees, butterflies and or birds. Are mainly grown in gardens.

Sandersonia: The flowers are currently being hybridized in New Zealand in hopes of a pink and white form of the plant. Becoming increasing popular in cut arrangements.

Snapdragon: Leaves of the plant are used in cataplasms for tumors and ulcers. In the 16th and 17th centuries the flower was used as a preservative against witch craft. Mildly fragrant. Used to create height in floral arrangements.

Solidaster: A popular filler in floral arrangements. Pollen may cause allergic reactions.

Spray Rose:  Has short individual stems on a single larger stem. Use miniature spray roses for wrist corsages, centerpieces and other small scale arrangements. You can add spray roses to other flowers in a bouquet with some greenery which will give everything more of a fuller appearance.

Stephanotis:Flowers will fade to yellow after several days. Is considered to be one of the most popular wedding flowers. Extremely fragrant. Is a controllable vine that can be grown indoors for decorative uses such as on a trellis.

Stock: Used to create lines and mass in floral arrangements. Very fragrant. Named for the botanist Pierandrea Mattioli (1500-1577).

Strawflower: Very popular as a dried flower. An annual for your garden. Attracts bees, birds and/or butterflies.

Scabiosa: Scabiosa’s leaves are the supposed cure for the disease Scabies. Often planted in gardens, however they are becoming increasingly popular in floral arrangements. Flowers are fragrant and attract a variety of insects.

Statice: A popular filler and very useful in dried floral arrangments.

Sunflower: Sunflowers are helitropic meaning they are known for the behavior of turning themselves towards the sun. On sunny days the sunflower in the bud stage will track the sun from east to west, returning to the east at nightfall or at dawn, where the sun rises each morning. The sunflower is able to do so because of a flexible segment of the stem just below the bud. This segment will stiffen at the end of the bud stage and the flower will freeze in the direction of the East.

Sweet pea: Used as an annual in gardens. Seeds from the sweet pea are not edible. Flowers have a sweet fragrance, therefore called sweet pea. Breeders are trying to develop a scented yellow sweet pea flower. Popularly used for wedding bouquets and corsages by florists.

Trachelium: Excellent filler flower in floral arrangements.

Tuberose: Flowers are extremely fragrant and parts are used to create perfumes. Popularly used in wedding designs. In France, young girls were warned not to smell the tuberose after dark for fear that it would put them in a romantic mood. Is said to simulate your creative right side of the brain.

Tulip: The National Emblem of Holland. Tulip festivals are held in the Netherlands and in North America every May. Tulips will be damaged if placed in the same arrangement with daffodils and narcissus. Tulips are phototropic and with turn towards the light. Tulips can grow up to and inch a day after being cut.

Waxflower: Extremely fragrant. Has a strong citrus lemon scent when crushed.

Veronica: Mainly grown in gardens as perennials. The tips of this flower tend of curve. Used as a filler and to add height to a floral arrangement.

Violet: One of the most popular flowering houseplants.

Zinnia: Used in floral arrangement to add masses of bright color. Attracts butterflies.