Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney, where each Friday during the past year a new poem was posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.
At the end of her 1845 book of flower appreciation, she offers a “Glossary of Flowers Mentioned in This Volume”, which has been reproduced here in three parts. The last two Fridays we enjoyed the first and second parts of the flower glossary.
Today’s flowers, from N to W, is the third and last part of the flower glossary.
Glossary: Flowers N through W
Narcissus, . . . Self-love.
Nightshade, . . . Dark thoughts.
Oleander, . . . Beware !
Olive, . . . Peace.
Pansy, . . . Pleasant thoughts.
Pea, Everlasting, . . . Wilt thou go with me?
Pea, Sweet, . . . Departure.
Pink, . . . Woman’s love.
Piony, . . . Anger.
Polyanthus, . . . Confidence.
Poppy, Red, . . . Evanescent pleasure.
Poppy, White, . . . Consolation.
Primrose, . . . Modest worth.
Ragged Lady, . . . Bad housekeeping.
Rhododendron, . . . Majesty.
Rose, . . . Beauty and prosperity.
Rose, Cinnamon, . . . Maternal care.
Rose, Damask, . . . Bashful love.
Rose, Thornless, . . . Ingratitude.
Rose, Multiflora, . . . Grace.
Rose, Moss, . . . Superior merit.
Rose, Wild, . . . Lightness.
Rose-bud, Moss, . . . Confession.
Rose-bud, White, . . . Too young to love.
Sage, . . . Domestic virtues.
Snowball, . . . Thoughts of Heaven.
Soldier in Green, . . . Undying hope.
Spruce, . . . Integrity.
Sunflower, . . . Lofty thoughts.
Sweet-Briar, . . . Simplicity.
Sweet-William, . . . A smile.
Thistle, . . . Misanthropy.
Tulip, . . . A declaration of love.
Venus’s Fly-Trap, . . . Artifice.
Verbena, . . . Sensibility.
Violet, . . . Modesty.
Water-Lily, . . . Purity of heart.
Wax-Berry, . . . Confiding trust.
Willow, Weeping, . . . Forsaken love.
Woodbine, . . . Fraternal love.
Flowers and their meanings.
The thing I’m curious about is, did the flower receiver, back in the day, have an understanding of some of these meanings? Did they have any idea that the flower giver was sharing emotions or feelings when handing them a basket of flowers?
Looking at the list of flowers in the glossary it goes to prove there is tremendous variety in flowers. The spice of life, I’d say.
Have to admit that I hadn’t heard of Ragged Lady. . . Bad housekeeping. Turns out that it’s Nigella damascena, also known as love-in-a-mist, a Buttercup Family member with spiky, fern-like foliage that makes the whole plant look unkept. The seed heads are large spiky spheres. The spike-like leaves still make the plant look kind of shaggy even after the flowers are gone. The flowers are pretty in shades of blue, pink and purple.
The Soldier in Green. . . Undying hope is a new flower for me, Adonis aestivalis, another Buttercup Family member. It seems to be more commonly called Pheasants Eye, a name that doesn’t make sense to me. Soldier in Green probably refers to the volume of upright foliage surrounding the flowers.
Rose, Multiflora. . . Grace. Yeah, for one week of the year. The rest of the time what a nuisance! It takes a number of hours clomping, sawing and digging these wild roses to get rid of them. Black raspberries would be so much more appreciated growing in that space!