If I were to ask you what your birthstone – the gemstone assigned to the month you were born in – is, there’s a good chance you’d know it, or at least understand that there is such a thing. But did you know that every month also has birth flowers?
It is thought that birth month flowers originated in Roman times, when birthday celebrations first began. These early celebrations included decorating the altars of Roman Gods with flowers, and giving flowers as birthday gifts.
During the Victorian era the ‘language of flowers’ evolved, as a way of conveying a hidden message to a lover without breaking the strict rules of etiquette surrounding displays of love or affection.
Fast forward to the present day and we now have a choice of birth flowers with specific meanings for each month of the year.
Flowers are a very popular gift choice for birthdays, but I think choosing the recipient’s birth month flower makes it a more unusual and personal gift. The flower in question will also be in season at the time, which should make it easy to find.
I’m going to look at the birth flowers for each month in this series of posts, starting with March.
The most iconic flower of Spring, it’s no wonder daffodils are a birth flower for March. It symbolises regard and chivalry, as well as unrequited love. If you’re going to give daffodils as a gift, go for a bunch, symbolising joy and happiness. A single flower foretells misfortune – not a great birthday message!
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a daffodil, and while both flowers belong to the Narcissus group, Jonquils have some different features. Their leaves are more slender, their stems are shorter and they tend to have clusters of flowers on the stems. They also have more fragrance. Jonquils symbolise desire for affection returned, as well as sympathy – probably not worth mentioning the sympathy bit if the recipient isn’t keen on getting older!
Obviously this is just a bit of fun, but I think it’s really interesting to consider the meanings that have been allocated to specific flowers – why were they chosen? Do you think they suit the flower? Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.