Flowers offer more to the planet than merely natural artwork and beauty. They are essential to removing carbon dioxide and toxins in the air. They feed the honeybee population that’s responsible for promulgating food crops. To most people however, flowers carry enormous symbolism, provide soothing sympathy and are an integral part of many of life’s ceremonies.
Whether planted in the ground as part of a garden or blossoming from shrubs and trees, flowers add depth and interest to landscapes. Outdoor weather patterns affect the timing of the blooms, and you know spring is near when daffodils and tulips start sprouting. Bright, colorful azaleas chase away the winter dreariness as they bloom, sometimes long before the grass turns green.
Many animals eat flowers for nourishment. Flowers have long been used in cooking for humans as well and have undergone a resurgence in popularity as a food source, according to North Carolina State University. Edible flowers are often used as garnishment for dishes or as part of a recipe. Popular flowers used in cooking and preparing meals include lemon, coriander, gardenia, marjoram and garlic chives. The flowers of herbal flowers usually taste similar to the actual herb. Flowers can trigger allergies, so you should refrain from eating flowers if you have hay fever. Additionally, you should only eat the flowers from food you’ve grown yourself so you know what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides were used. Read more about edible flowers here.
Flowers are a traditional part of both joyous and somber occasions. Traditionally, the flowers at funerals bring a sense of peace and beauty to an otherwise sad occasion. Flowers play an integral role in weddings and often are the focal piece in a wedding’s design. According to Dr. Stephen Ritter, Director of The Rittners School of Floral De-sign, flowers can help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. A bouquet such as the 100 Blooms of Get Well Wishes from ProFlowers brightens up any environment. Flowers are often used to express gratitude and love to friends and lovers.
Many flowers are crushed and used for medicinal purposes. The hibiscus sabdariffa, also called roselle, is one example of a flower that serves as an effective laxative and has been used for centuries by herbalists and folk medicine practitioners. The flower contains high doses of ascorbic acid and glycolic acid and may also fight inflammation and water retention, according to the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Both the flowers and the leaves can be used in a tea or made into a paste to increase blood flow in the skin.