What is a Birthflower?
Just as we have birthstones which are gemstones associated with particular months, there are also flowers attached to the twelve months of the year, linking people’s birthday month with these flowers.
The language of flowers was introduced to England in the early 18th century. In this language, flowers have meanings attached to them and are linked to specific months so the two things have become merged.
So which flowers are known as Birthflowers?
As with gemstones, there is often more than one option and in the case of flowers it can depend on where you live. For example, in the UK we use the snowdrop for our January birthflower, but if you live in the Mediterranean area, it will be the carnation. It is all to do with where the flowers grow and at which times of year as well as local traditions.
Birthflowers tend to be representative of the flowers that bloom in that particular month. Just as the signs of the Zodiac have characteristics and qualities associated with them, so do birthflowers have personality traits attributed to them also.
The lovely bell-shaped flower of the snowdrop which is pure white is also said to resemble the whiteness of snow, and January is the most usual month for snow. For that reason, this little flower is said to symbolise purity, hope and innocence.
Some species of violets bloom throughout the year, but they are generally found in early spring. Qualities associated with violets are dependability, thoughtfulness and loyalty. In the Victorian age, when the language of flowers was most popular, it was often used as a declaration of loyal true love!
Although with global warming, we often see them appearing in February now, daffodils have always been seen as the heralds of spring. Narcissus is the genus name, which comes from the mythological character of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection. It is not surprising therefore that it is associated with vanity. However, yellow daffodils are thought to symbolise friendship, happiness, compassion and humaneness.
May - With dainty bell-like blossoms grouped together on one stem, the lily of the valley signifies humility, sweetness, happiness and motherhood – so could be considered an ideal gift for Mother’s Day as well as for birthdays.
June – Both the rose and the honeysuckle can be seen blooming in June, but in the UK, nothing is quite as typical of this month as the rose. Different coloured roses have their own connotations such as red for passion and yellow for friendship, but they all are considered to symbolise love and devotion.
October – Although different varieties of marigold bloom at different times, marigold is chosen for October because of the gold and orange colours associated with autumn leaves. The qualities symbolised by the marigold are warmth, love passion and creativity.
So there you have it - everything you need to know about birthflowers. Why not check out our Birthflower Collection? - 12 little pendants made from sterling silver representing the 12 birthflowers. They would make a delightful gift at any time of the year.