Water Lily: Symbol of Constancy

Water lilies are freshwater plants in the Nymphaeaceae family. The name derives from Greek legends where “nymphs” protected springs and streams. There are about 70 different species of water lilies, divided into eight different genre commonly found in garden ponds and landscape features. The roots dig deep into the ground underwater, while the leaves or […]

Daisy Flower: Reminder To Stay Positive

Depending on the species, daisies can be white with a yellow center, purple with a brownish center, red with a yellow center, orange with a yellow center, pink with a yellow center, yellow with a dark red center or blue with a green center. Part of the sunflower family and more than 4000 years old, […]

The Allium Flower: Symbol of Unity And Strength

Within the Allium genus of 800 there are about 1250 species of perennial bulbous plants, notably the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, and chives. “Allium” is the Latin word for garlic. The species name—Allium sativum—means “cultivated garlic.” Native to Southwestern Asia, the plants are grown throughout the world. Because of their beautiful globe-shaped heads, […]

The Poppy Flower: Symbol Of Abundance And Sharing

There are more than 70 species of poppy (Papaver) in the family Papaveraceae. Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Circle and in southern Africa they’re mostly cultivated as garden ornamentals. Notably, the Papaver somniferum species is the source of opium, a narcotic that contains alkaloids used in the production of morphine, heroin and codeine. […]

The Purple Iris: Symbol Of Wisdom

There are roughly 300 species and more than 50,000 varieties of the iris flower, beardless and bearded, the latter with a fuzzy petal that hangs down. They range from plants up to five feet tall and dwarfs of only eight inches. The bearded variety reproduces through swollen roots, while the beardless iris has a rhizome, […]

Dogwood: Symbol Of Equanimity

The dogwood tree belongs to the genus family Cornus, a French and Latin word for “horn,” which includes 30-60 hardwood trees and shrubs of both deciduous and evergreen varieties. The trees are native throughout the world and gained the name “dogwood” because dogs were unable to consume their fruits. Native Americans began planting crops, corn […]

The Bald Cypress: Symbol Of Transition

  Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina The bald cypress is a member of the Baldcypress Family, which is related to Dawn and Giant Redwoods with ancestors dating back to the late Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago. They’re called “bald” because the leaves, looking like needles, fall off every year. The trees grow 13-24 […]

The Tulip: Symbol Of Love

The tulip story begins in Central and Western Asia when the bulbs were brought to Turkey by nomadic tribes about 500 years ago. The Turks considered them to be jewels, but it was the Persians who named them “tulipant,” their word for turban which described the shape of the flower they often wore in their […]

The Magnolia Tree: Symbol Of Endurance

“Southern” Magnolia Blossom The Magnolia genus is at least 100 million years old. Bees and butterflies didn’t exist then, so the trees relied upon beetles for pollination. Their early ancestors, one of the first flowers on earth, lived on the supercontinent of Pangaea 250 million years ago, then spread to Laurasia (Europe and Asia) 200 […]

Soil: Literally And Symbolically The “Ground”

Soils are “living” systems—a combination of ground minerals and organic matter that began to form in the Cambrian Explosion (550 mya) after a mass extinction of life-forms between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. Today, soils are to the land what plankton are to the oceans—the bottom or ground of the food chain. On average, […]