The stem of love: history behind flowers


Chase Martin, Writer

As the most notorious Valentine’s Day flower, roses have been associated with love and romance ever since ancient Greece. According to The Magic Flower Company, it is believed that the first rose had bloomed from Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, crying for her wounded lover, Adonis. Her tears mixed with his blood and upon reaching the soil a beautiful rose appeared before them. Red, one of Valentine’s Day’s representative colors, is also known to represent that of romance, love and sensuality. Thus, making it a flawless gift for loved ones. 

Interflora tells the tale of carnations. They may have many different meanings depending on the color, but all carnations have soul attributes built in its heart: fascination, distinction and love. Ancient Romans utilized the beauty of carnations in their artworks and displays. Red carnations would be the best option for Valentine’s Day as red is associated with infatuation. Pink carnations tend to be a better option for Mother’s Day as they are associated with more tenderness and motherly love while purple carnations are for unfortunate events or apologies.

Perfect for all of life’s moments, orchids can represent many different feelings and moods. Orchids represent thoughtfulness, beauty, charm and love. Unlike roses, orchids are not as common when thinking about the perfect Valentine’s Day flower, but they fit the occasion just perfectly. Junior Kylie Rumler said, “I prefer orchids over roses because I like properly thought-out gifts.” Orchids continue to bloom and grow for years when taken care of, the perfect metaphor to a healthy relationship.

Tulips are most known for their perfection and deep love, dating back to the fairy tale of Farhad and Shirin. For every drop of blood from his body, hitting the ground a gorgeous scarlet tulip bloomed to signify his undying love. Tulips are given to those whom you love dearly. Red tulips, especially, mean “I love you,” making them the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. 

Flowers are a thoughtful way of sharing love, whether it be romantically or platonically. Hy-vee floral manager Barb Timlin says, “During the Valentine’s Day season it is crazy, nuts, insane and unbelievably busy.” According to Timlin, a dozen roses are estimated at $80 per dozen. Timlin explains, “We get many sales, and each week the sales quadruple.” Flowers have been integrated into the culture of Valentine’s Day for hundreds of years, known as symbols of gratitude and appreciation.