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Interesting facts about flowers

Throughout the centuries, flowers have captured the human imagination and inspired countless songs and poems. Many have become part of religious ceremonies and social rites of passage. Think of weddings and funerals, for example. This is no doubt due to their incredible beauty, variety of shapes and colours and wonderful arrays of perfumes. Of course, this is not true of every variety - one need only think of the famous insect-catching varieties that often smell of rotting flesh. For the most part, though, they continue to dazzle and mesmerise us.

Below are a few fascinating and fun facts about flowers.

  • Ornamental allium flowers and tulips are both related to the onion and garlic plant. Just think of their bulb-like tubers and how similar their flowers look to chives and you will see the resemblance. In fact, according to some, you can substitute an onion with a tulip bulb in some food recipes, provided it hasn’t started to sprout shoots, although it isn’t likely to taste as nice.
  • Sunflowers, popular in flower bouquets, are so named because they track the movement of the sun through the sky as it shifts from east to west. This can be seen clearly using time lapse photography.
  • In the old days, people made glue from the sticky substance emitted by woodland bluebells.

As well as being beautiful, many flowers have medicinal qualities. For instance:

  • The common marigold, also known as calendula, is used by herbalists in ointments that soothe skin rashes and conditions such as eczema. These plants originate from the America’s and were introduced to Europe by the conquistadors, thanks to their encounters with the Aztecs, who used them for religious and medicinal purposes.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are working on a drug used to treat heart problems made from extracts of the common foxglove, also known as digitalis purpurea, which is Latin for ‘purple fingers.’

So next time you send flowers online or receive a flower delivery, remember that there is much more to flowers than just their appearance.